Yesterday we witnessed Paul confronting Peter with some strong words, which might move us to think that they were hostile to one another. In today’s reading we find Paul putting his arms around Peter and reminding him that they were brothers in Christ Jesus. He writes that they are both Jews by birth. They both believe that a person is not justified by observing the law. They both had a common conversion experience. That which makes them brothers is not their Jewish birth but their new birth in Jesus Christ.
Paul and Peter model for us the kind of respect, acceptance and love which we need to show to one another at times when we disagree or are disappointed in the actions or words of one another. Let us never hold a grudge but rather realize that as long as we are brothers and sisters in the faith we must live in fellowship with one another. One of my happiest memories is of being reconciled to a brother and sister in Christ with whom I had a disagreement.
Is there someone with whom you need to be reconciled? I encourage you to pray for that person and do what you can to be reconciled to him or her. There are few greater joys.
Lord Jesus, help me to be reconciled to any with whom I may be out of fellowship. Please! Amen.