Understanding Acts | Peter’s Provision | Acts 10.9-22 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | Nov 26, 2022

“About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven openedand something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. 17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” 21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.” Acts .10.9-22

God called Peter to go share the gospel message with Cornelius. Being a Greek/Gentile was one thing, but what Cornelius ate for dinner was something entirely different. God was not only opening up the gospel to non-Jews, but he was also breaking down cultural and Levitical barriers that would prevent them from dining together. God provided at just the right time permission to not only meet with Cornelius but to dine with him also.

This was no small calling! It took an angel of the Lord for Cornelius to call on Peter, and then an entire vision containing “something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners” (a table cloth?) and “it contained all kinds of four-footed animals, including reptiles and birds.” Up until then, these animals were never eaten by Jews. It then took the Spirit of God to confirm to Peter that it was good to meet with the men Cornelius had sent and gave him permission to go and eat at his house. A devout Jew going to have dinner in the house of a Gentile was unthinkable.

God was breaking down barriers right in front of our eyes. He was making true the Scripture that says, “To obey is better than sacrifice, 1 Samuel 15.22. Following God was more important than following the rules set up for following God. A relationship with God was more significant than the regulations of religious thought. God desired to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the gentiles and this meant adaptations to the Law of Moses. Besides, Jesus has come to set us free from the law of sin an death.

Too often we ask God to confirm to our own set of standards. We think we need to live within a set of rules that sometimes prevents us from knowing, experiencing and enjoying the freedom of a life in Christ. Not that we should let sin abound, by no means says Paul! But as he also writes to the Galatians, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (V.13)

Peter was being set free in order to minister to a gentile. He was set free from dietary restrictions so that a persons soul could receive redemption and find eternal security in the Cross of Christ. Although these separations were important at one time for the Jews, now the Gospel emphasized salvation in Jesus above all else. Jesus’ righteousness covered all our imperfections and made access to God available to everyone

During this Thanksgiving week, I am grateful for the Cross of Christ. I am thankful for salvation in his name, the sacrifice of blood, the atonement of sins and the resurrection of the body. I am assured that just as God called Peter so he also calls us to make known the power of God in our midst.

Won’t you be his agent today?

“O Lord God you are good. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for allowing me to walk each day in newness and love. Even when I fail, turn away and sin, you draw me back to your promise. Come now, Holy Spirit, direct me to share your word with others. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen