…well…a different kind of untouchable…
S (Scripture): Acts 10:25 So when Peter came in, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him. 10:26 But Peter helped him up, saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 10:27 Peter continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 10:28 He said to them, “You know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile, yet God has shown me that I should call no person defiled or ritually unclean.
O (Observation): Preceding this reading, God sends a vision to Peter, beginning in Acts 10:11,
Peter saw heaven opened and an object something like a large sheet descending, being let down to earth by its four corners. 10:12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth and wild birds. 10:13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter and eat!” 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 10:15 The voice spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider ritually unclean!”
Peter extends this revelation beyond food, and into a new understanding of how to relate to people considered “unclean” by the culture or The Law. So even though he would be considered ritually unclean by the majority of his religious cohort, God has seen fit to help Peter blaze the trail for a new way to relate to those considered outside of salvation.
Perhaps this new way to relate to these folks and speak with them is so that they can hear of the love and power of Christ firsthand. Now, Jesus’ followers can be witnesses to those who don’t know of or believe in Jesus Christ, the Resurrected Lord and Savior.
A (Application): Who do we considered unclean? What are some places that we say to ourselves: “I just can’t go there.”?
This episode changed the game for evangelism. We take the field, equipped to go anywhere. The Lord doesn’t promise that everyone will like us, but does tell us that no one is to be considered “untouchable.”
P (Prayer): Lord, our sinful side puts up walls and borders and boundaries. Please help us to “tear down that wall” (couldn’t help the Reagan reference) and turn our walls into tables of reconciliation and peace. Amen.
(P.s. Extra prayers needed today…
Lord, we pray for the victims in Paris, shot and wounded today. May your justice reign, and bring peace to the victims of the lost and wounded.
Healing God, be with my friend, John, hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat. Amen.)