Peter said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.” Acts 10:28 (NIV)
Sometimes the word of God can be challenging, even objectionable. Peter found himself in just a circumstance when God asked him to reach out to some non-Jews. Read about it Acts chapter 10.
Until now, the apostles were just spreading the good news of Jesus to the Jewish people. But God had bigger plans. God wanted to reach the Gentiles as well. But first, God had to overcome the Jewish traditions of Jews not associating with Gentiles.
Peter goes through a process of letting the word transform him
- Objecting – In verse 14, Peter’s first response to the word of God to eat unclean animals is, “Surely not, Lord. I never…” He recognizes that the word is from the Lord but is still put off by it.
- Wondering – After the encounter with God is over, Peter begins wondering about the meaning of the vision (verse 17). Just then some men show up unexpectedly.
- Obeying – As Peter is pondering all these events, the Holy Spirit speaks to him, “Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” The next day Peter obeys and starts out with them, along with some of the believers from Joppa (verse 20 and 23).
- Affirming – In verse 29, Peter arrives at the Gentile’s house and says, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection.”
- Transforming – Finally in verses 34 and 35, Peter begins to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.
By submitting himself to God’s word and letting it transform him, not only is he changed, but the good news of Jesus is spread to the world.
Like Peter, we might not immediately embrace the word of God in our lives. Sometimes we might object at first. But if we are willing to let the word work in us, we will be blessed and bless others.
Prayer: Lord, continue to let your word work in me to make me all that your want me to be. Overcome any hesitation in me and lead me closer to you. Amen.