Daily Reflection: Orthopedic Practice | Gal. 2:13-14 | Week 5
Reflection 22 of 70
And as if that weren’t bad enough, the rest of the Jewish “friends” in the room starting skulking off too, joining his act of disingenuous distancing from the “outsider” Gentiles – in fact, even Barnabas, Barnabas!, was swept up in this appalling performance of betrayal. But, let me tell you, when I saw this performance, when I saw how they were missing it – how they were totally gutting the reality of the Good News of Jesus! – it was no “standing O” that brought me to my feet. No way! I gave Kefa/Peter the what for – right there in front of everyone I laid into him: “You are thoroughly Jewish, yet you have been totally living it up like a Gentile outsider rather than a Jewish insider. How can you now turn around and try to force these religious outsiders into your insider mold?!? You poser!” Galatians 2:13-14 | MAV
Orthopodeo. It’s a word found in this text and nowhere else – Paul may have coined it himself. It has two parts: orthos (straight) and pous (foot). Paul saw, literally, that Peter and the rest of the Jewish company at the table who skulked away weren’t orthopedic in their walk with Jesus. They didn’t walk straight. But then do skulkers ever walk straight? It wasn’t just that they were off here or there. After all, nothing had changed in their doctrinal stance on anything at that point. But their behavior had the ultimate effect of gutting the Good News. It’s a vivid illustration of how orthodoxy (what we believe and think) is connected with othropraxy (what we do). Both are critical. But the fact remains that we can be quite orthopedic in our orthodoxy but gut the Gospel of Jesus by what we do – particularly in how we treat others, by the layers of conditions we lay down to accept others as brothers and sisters. “Receive one another as Christ has received you, to the glory of God” (Romans 15:7). We can quote the verse (orthodoxy). The question is just how orthopedic is our practice of it?
When it comes to your treatment and acceptance of others, just how orthopedic is your practice? How might God be challenging you today to really “walk the line” of loving someone in a practical way as Christ has loved you?
God, empower me to walk the line of your love and mercies today. Let my eyes be wide open to embrace someone today as you have embraced me. Amen.
Sometime this week, read Galatians again in one sitting.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.