Summary of passage: Peter ate with the Gentiles before certain men (Judaizers) came from James. Yet when they arrived, Peter began to withdraw and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of the Judaizers. Even Barnabas followed their lead.
Paul confronted Peter’s hypocrisy in front of them all, pointing out his past behavior and how it does not align with God’s word. Paul says a man is justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law for if righteousness could be gained through the law then Christ died for nothing! Paul explains he lives only by faith in Jesus who lives in him. Keeping the law will not get Paul (or anyone) to heaven as the Judaizers continued to believe. Only through Christ does one live.
12) Personal Question. My answer: The definition of stumbled according to Webster’s dictionary is “to fall into sin, blunder, bewilder, confound.” I’m using confound here since the first doesn’t make much sense.
Peter is essentially being a hypocrite here. He said Gentiles were equal but when “certain men” or Judaizers it seems came, he disassociated with the Gentiles out of fear of the Judaizers.
Of course, Christians were a little peeved (aren’t you in the presence of hypocrites?).
13) Peter eventually mends his ways, after giving into social pressures. Peter knows in his heart what is true as he says in Acts 15:6-11 and I believe he overcame his human inclinations to do God’s work. But I think it took Paul to call him out on his behavior in order to do so.
Conclusions: Great lesson for us. Most people know when they are doing good or bad. They know in their heart if they are shunning others when it’s wrong. Most of us have a conscious after all. Sometimes it takes a confrontation for someone to mend their ways. Paul had the courage here to do so. I’m wondering if we have the courage as well? To confront others in our lives or stand up if we are in that situation and do the right thing.