Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Acts 10:13-16


Summary retelling of Acts 10:13-16

Within the vision, Peter hears a voice telling him to get up, kill, and eat.  Peter refuses, claiming that he hasn’t violated his cleanliness rules and he isn’t about to now.  From the vision, the voice tells him that Peter should be very careful when calling something unclean – especially if God has called it clean.  This happened again, and then the sheet was taken up into heaven.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
This passage is first and foremost about control.  Our old friend the self-monger comes back into play.  Here we see Peter have a moment where his tradition gets in the way of what God is doing.  Peter hears a command from God and he stumbles because God seems to be contradicting tradition.  Peter refuses, and gets chastised.  Peter wants to be in control.  His pride about remaining clean gets in his way.  Self-monger, self-monger, self-monger.  Even in Peter, even after the resurrection, even after he understands what God did through Jesus … even after all of this, the self-monger reigns within.

Is it difficult to go against tradition?  Is it difficult to admit we might be wrong in our opinions and traditions?  How can Satan use this natural human instinct to keep us from being obedient to God?  How does the self-monger continue to win even after all we know about what God is doing?

Second Thought:
God tells Peter that what He makes clean is clean.  End of discussion.  This is really a gut-check moment for Peter.  Here is Peter, face to face with God and Peter has to decide if his tradition is right or if God is right.  Again we talk about obedience.  Is Peter willing to be humble before God?  Is Peter willing to submit to God?  Is Peter willing to let God be in control?

All of those questions we should continue to ask of ourselves.  Am I willing to let God be in control?  Are you?

Third Thought:
We can assume that Peter doesn’t learn the lesson.  God has to show the vision three times to Peter.  You would think if Peter “got it” that God wouldn’t have needed to repeat the lesson.  Furthermore, we aren’t told that Peter never did get up and eat, and you would think that if he had that it would have been an important detail in the story.  Add to it that we are told that after the vision Peter was contemplating the meaning of the vision and we can be reasonably sure that Peter never does obey the vision to get up, kill, and eat.  Peter’s stubbornness shines through.  Thanks be to God that He was not demanding immediate obedience.  God was willing to teach the lesson and give Peter some time to absorb the lesson.  Thanks be to God for being patient with us!

Has God been patient with you?  How long will it take for you to learn whatever lesson God is trying to teach you right now?  How can you set yourself up for making sure that God’s lessons are learned as quickly as possible?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 10: 17-20
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