Day 1: Acts 10:34-43
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
The Apostle Peter grew up in a thoroughly Jewish environment. He was taught that the Jews were God’s chosen people and that the Gentiles were very far from God’s heart. So I imagine his world was completely shaken when he had a vision of a sheet descending from heaven containing all sorts of animals, many of which were considered unlawful for Jews to eat.
A voice from heaven said, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat.” Peter responded, “Surely not Lord.”
Now, “Surely not, Lord,” is probably not the best thing to say when God speaks. But Peter was so convinced of the strength of his convictions that even God couldn’t shake them, at least not instantly. In time, after listening to God’s communication, Peter became willing to rethink and redraw his former lines of convictions.
What about us? What do we hold to be true and essential that perhaps God does not? What concepts have entered our thinking that seem so fitting, but that God finds distasteful?
To a certain degree, we all have God in a box. After all, if we could completely understand Him for who He is, then we’ve got a god far too small. So, it probably is a good idea to pray for our eyes and understanding to be open to His way of looking at things.
We don’t know what we don’t know—but He does.
Doug Boquist | Lead Pastor, Lima Community Church