Paul was active in leading this church in Antioch. He left this diverse church with Jews and Gentiles living together in Christian harmony. But when Paul came back, Peter and the other Jewish Christians were pulling away from the Gentile Christians. Paul was shocked when Peter seemed to revert back to Jewish cultural mandates in keeping the Jewish believers separate from the Gentile believers. Taking our eyes off Jesus will do the same to you today as it did Peter then. Which brings us to two main points:
1. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not the Context or Culture – Peter in the past had such bold faith that he walked on the water toward Jesus. At first, he was doing it. But the moment he took his eyes off Jesus and started giving his attention to the context that surrounded him he started to sink. This is a theme in his Christian walk. In the same way, Peter was a hypocrite with the Gentiles believers and Paul was forced to confront Peter to his face about this grievous mistake. Paul says the truth of the Gospel was affected by Peter’s wavering and excluding.
2. The Gospel is an Equalizer and Unifier – When we come to the Cross and we see our sin that nailed Him there, we suddenly all become equal. Christ did not die for a certain type of person, Christ died for sins. He rose from the dead to defeat death for everyone. But also because it makes all men equal, it should also unify all men. So when dealing with cultural challenges or political arguments among believers and church members we must stop focusing on what divides us and start focusing on what brings us together. Otherwise, we will get nowhere.