Daily Devotions


Day 29

"When Peter had come to Antioch..."

Text: Galatians 2:11a


The following text Paul wrote was not recorded in the Book of Acts. (This is understandable because the Book of Acts was not meant to be a record of incidents like this one. Luke, the author, sought to trace an outline of the beginning of the church and its growth.)

Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face,
because he was to be blamed;
for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles;
but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those
who were of the circumcision.
And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him,
so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

Galatians 2:11-13

1. Peter’s visit to Antioch

a) Part of his apostolic supervisory work.
b) The apostles would check out the new churches that were planted (e.g. Visiting the church in Samaria – Acts 8).

2. The apostle James

a) He had sent a delegation of Jews to visit the church at Antioch, Syria.
b) The members of this delegation were probably very strict in the keeping of their Jewish laws.

3. The presence of the delegation from James

a) Peter was affected.
b) Barnabas was affected too.
c) Some Jewish believers followed the response of Peter and Barnabas.
d) They withdrew from further fellowship with the Gentile believers.

4. Paul’s strong reaction

a) He confronted Peter directly and publicly.
b) He deemed this as “hypocrisy”.

5. Reasons for this strong reaction

a) Because this was wrong on the part of the apostles.
b) Because they affected the church members (the Jewish believers) adversely.
c) If left unchecked, this could have affected the Gentile believers badly.
d) Since this was a public event, Paul had to confront Peter openly.