Peter had a few preconceived biases that he had adopted from the Jewish culture around him. I’m sure some of those things in the background of Peter’s world-view were helpful in understanding and sharing the gospel. (He would have had an incredible understanding the Old Testament, etc.) Yet, other parts would cause him an undue bias. The Holy Spirit had to move in a powerful way for Peter to get the message. First in a dream (10:9-16) and then as a sign gift of tongues in the new gentile converts (10:44-48).
It is sad to admit but there have been times where I have been reluctant to talk with people about the Lord because they were different than me. Indeed, there have been moments where I thought in my heart, “I don’t want to be around people like that.” I’ve come to notice that is usually the Lord rebuking my flesh and leading me to humbleness. How arrogant is it to say that or even think something like that. It becomes a lesson in the gospel all over again, “for God so loved the WORLD,” “while WE were STILL SINNERS Christ DIED for US,” etc.
Practically in this passage, we are seeing the gospel cross the lines that were laid out in ACTS 1:8. It is crossing cultural barriers and will ultimately go to the utter most parts of the Earth. Peter’s encounter with these gentile believers will come into play later when there is more discussion on what does a gentile convert do/ not do to follow the LORD? (Ex. Do they get circumcised or has baptism replaced that? Do they need to keep Jewish festivals? etc.)
FATHER, Thank you for the power of the gospel to transform lives. Thank you that the gospel crosses racial and cultural lines. Prepare our hearts to address cultural biases wherever it may be found. Give us a desire to take the gospel to the nations. Give us boldness in our witness for you today. I pray that we will walk in humbleness. Thank you for the grace to lead your people. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.