On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised.
Thoughts for Today:I read the story once of a young seminary student who had a dream on the eve of a Bible study he would lead before his professors. In the dream, he was standing and holding hands around a giant tree with many of his contemporary heroes. Included with him were all of his professors, his father, Billy Graham, and the pastor who had led him to the Lord. The strange thing was they were all dressed the same and of the same height. When he awoke the meaning of the dream became clear to him -- the Lord was reminding him that all of humanity is equal before Him -- and there was no need for him to feel intimidated when leading the study.
In our passage today, Paul does NOT say that he and Peter preached two different Gospels (one to the circumcised and another different Gospel to the uncircumcised). In fact, just the opposite -- there is only one true Gospel. Yet God primarily used Peter to preach it to the Jews, and Paul to the Gentiles. Their ministry focus, educational background, or previous relationships did not make one individual superior to the other. As far as God was concerned, they were both on equal footing. And it is the same for all of us. Jst like the dream of the young seminary student, all of humanity has the same standing before God -- regardless of our vocation.
Questions to Ponder:Sometimes leaders can become blinded to things other than the focus of their own ministry. They might even feel that nothing is more important than what they are doing. Although I think it is important to be fully committed to whatever task or work the Lord has given us, we can be wrong if we do so at the expense of others. God has all sorts of work He is doing -- with many different people groups throughout the world. And none is more valuable than the other. He calls everyone individually to His Name. Has your focus become too narrow? What change in attitude or approach is the Lord speaking to you about now?