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Read Introduction to Galatians


“And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy”


so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy

The hypocrisy of Peter and his friends lead Barnabas away from the truth. “Hypocrisy” is to act behind a mask. A stage player pretends to be someone he is not. Hypocrisy is pretense. An outward show of something is not true inwardly. This is to be two-faced.

In the ancient Greek play, the play-actor would wear an enlarged wax mask that covered their entire head. They had a smiling mask for a happy part and a frowning mask when they played a tragedy part. When they acted, they judged from behind a mask. In either case, neither was the real person. Peter, Barnabas, and others put on the mask of legalism.

Their hypocrisy led others to defect from grace. People disowned the truth of grace by the behavior of their leaders. They took their cue from leaders. No Christian should allow himself to become disillusioned over leaders who fall. It should surprise no Christian who understands the sin capacity. Our sin capacity never improves or gets better.

Barnabas was a colleague in ministry and close friend of Paul. Barnabas was there for Paul when few others would trust him (Acts 9:27). Paul left as a murderer and came back as a missionary. Who would believe this? Barnabas believed Paul even though everyone around did not believe him. Everyone was skeptical but Barnabas took him in (Acts 11:19f). Barnabas was a good man, a man of faith (Acts 15:25). He introduced Paul into the ministry of teaching the Word at Antioch.

Both Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel of grace together. Now Barnabas put on a mask that did not show his true belief in grace. Of all people, it was very unlikely that Barnabas would fall into fakery. This was a cruel blow to Paul. This was a real shocker. Even a senior and veteran missionary can go bad. Barnabas put too much confidence in Peter. However, he was a man, and as a man, he had all the potential of failure residing within him because he had a sin capacity.


Expediency never justifies deception.


True Christianity must operate on truth, not deceit. Truth is more important than unity. When Christians present themselves as something they are not, there can be no integrity in the relationship.

Expediency never justifies deception. Many leaders today fall into the trap of caring about what other people think about doctrine. Leaders should not succumb to public opinion about truth. We cannot allow the pressure of the mob to get to us.