“Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed…”
because he was to be blamed
Literally, “was to be blamed” is to know something against someone, to condemn him. When Peter first arrived in Antioch, he partook of meals without regard to Mosaic food regulations. When James’s representatives came to Antioch, Peter withdrew from the Gentiles because he was afraid of the Judaizers. Others soon followed Peter’s example. They were “carried away” by his model. Peter was blatantly wrong in this.
Paul called Peter on this compromise, for he had taken the cowardly way out of the conflict between believers. For expediency reasons, Peter became a faker. He denied God’s grace by an act of compromise. The church at Antioch was on the move. Paul and Barnabas catapulted the service of this church by their grace teaching. Because of this, most of the missionary movements launched from Antioch and not from Jerusalem.
A mature person can take rebuke objectively.
Sin can overtake even the finest of men when they leave their guard down. When fine men fall, they leave a bad example for many others.
Samson, David, Elijah, and Jonah all had their problems. None of them sunk so low that they were beyond recovery. None of them was so secure that he was beyond the pale of temptation. Although Peter was one of the greatest leaders of the first century, he was not infallible. No great leader is infallible.
Peter took his rebuke from Paul with maturity. Sometimes the greatness of our walk with the Lord depends on how we handle rebuke. Pride might cause us to defend ourselves in the face of the facts. It may cause us to resent the person who calls us on our problem. There is no justification in saying, “You are no better than I am.” No, a mature Christian evaluates rebuke and accepts objectively it if it applies to him. We lose out if we resent those who try to correct us.