Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Advent Archive: Acts 11

-Amber Allen
I think when you first read the beginning of Acts 10, you get a very low view of the Jewish men. They get onto Peter for having meals with non-Jewish people, and it makes you think they have really adopted a "holier-than-thou" attitude, doesn't it? If you keep reading though, Peter goes on to explain how he had this dream about the animals, and although he thought they were unclean, God said to eat them because He had sanctioned them as clean. Peter then took this dream to mean that it was 'ok' to fellowship with the Gentiles, because God gave the 'ok.' So although at first it looks like these men really have a super low view of the Gentiles, we see that it took a dream and a direct message from the Spirit for Peter to be 'ok' with it. The men really had more of a problem with the breaking of the Jewish rule then with Peter fellowshipping with non-believers. Even though these men are just concerned with following the law and are not projecting their superiority, their philosophy is really sad. The rules that they have spent their lives following mean more to them than people--than sinners dying and going to hell. It would be as sad as a doctor letting someone die on the operating table because something about the procedure violated his medical rule book. Today, let's be glad that we don’t have to live in the blindness of the law and that as grace-recipients we can become grace-bearers and share the good news of Jesus with anyone and everyone.
Food For Thought: Before his vision, was Peter any different than his Jewish counterparts, or did it take the opinion-shattering revelation of a loving God to free him? In what ways are we sometimes overly judgmental on those around us? What should our reaction to them be instead?