Gal 2:13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
Peter had yielded to the false teachers who had crept in among the churches of Galatia, withdrawing from the Gentiles for fear of the Jews. Paul admonished him to his face and showed how he was being a hypocrite and denying the gospel. Thankfully the Lord granted Peter repentance.
Notice that Paul says, “so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.” Barnabas was a faithful, genuine believer. He was gift with encouragement. And yet even he had begun to be led down that lying path which would add works of the Law to the gospel. Even Barnabas was led astray! Even him!
In this we must learn that our enemy is very crafty. He so often comes in religious garb, in the form of “eminent” saints. There is no lack of them in our own day. Without even knowing it, we can be seduced by them and start thinking falsely. Unless, of course, we take to heart Peter’s own words (of all people, Peter learned this lesson the hard way) –
1Pe 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
In part, this is the reason pastors and church members so often fall for the wicked person’s lies. Here is this man or woman who is such a pillar in our church. He is reputed as such in the community. He has what seems to be a depth of biblical knowledge. Or here is this guest speaker at a conference, for instance, introduced as “lead pastor of XXXX church and author of scores of books.” We ooh and ahh. We want his autograph. We soak up his every word. But this is not being sober-minded and watchful. It is spiritual carelessness and if the Lord is merciful and brings us to our senses, we may have been in this idolatrous slumber for years.
Put your own name in Paul’s sentence – “so that even ________ was led astray.” Do NOT be a respecter of persons. Do not show partiality. It just amazes me today how many professing Christians so easily fall for the enemy’s lies. It’s as if….could it be?…..they never really read their Bibles.