March 8th, 2019
Hypocritical Separation Rubs Off on Barnabas
Galatians 2:12-13 (KJB) For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
Peter sat down to eat with the Gentile believers of the Antioch Church. This fellowship among believers began before several people arrived from the Jerusalem church. Upon their entrance Peter practiced hypocritical separation. Peter chose to keep a well-known and long-standing tradition that Jewish believers do not ever mix and mingle with Gentiles, thus removing himself from their company.
Peter moved from sharing his meal with the believers of the Antioch Church to rub shoulders with members of the Jerusalem Church in an attempt at keeping good relations with his Jewish counterparts. These Jewish men would have likely stoically upheld such traditions and would have been highly insulted if Paul would not have left the Gentiles to come to eat with them. Just as the believers of the Antioch Church were also put off by his leaving their table.
Not only was Paul’s choice ungodly and rude to the Gentile’s but his poor choice rubbed off on the actions of his counterparts, including Barnabus, who watched this take place and was ever learning of God through this servant Peter. Barnabus and others removed themselves from eating with the Gentiles to greet arriving Jewish believers following in agreement with the actions of the Apostle Peter.
Undoubtedly this hypocritical maneuver of shifting tables left a mark on hearts of both churches this day.
The choice of Peter, followed by Barnabus, in removing themselves from fellowshipping with the Gentiles over a meal was a poor choice indeed. There was no respect of persons since the Gentiles had been grafted into God’s spiritual fold for God does not show respect unto nationality, ethnicity, skin color, or race.