Wednesday, April 22. Acts 11:1-18.
This is a repost from the Acts study:
Today we are reminded of a very important Bible Study principle. Whenever something is repeated in Scripture it is a strong indication that this is a very important thing that needs to be given attention. In today’s reading we see the duplication of Peter’s experience with Cornelius. Luke could have easily said that Peter simply told them what happened and saved himself a lot of precious parchment space. The fact that he launches into a second recounting of the story tells us that Luke saw this story as crucial to the overall message of Acts.
Here are three thoughts for today:
- This story is crucial for the message of Acts. We discussed this yesterday. The Kingdom of God is about fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham that He would bless all nations. Racism and prejudice of any kind is one of the greatest hindrances to the love of God that exists in our world.
- When you obey God’s wild call, you will often be misunderstood by fellow Christians. The majority of Jesus followers love to have safety nests and rules to follow. When there are clear-cut rules and life is black-and-white, then things are much easier to manage. That’s fine. Many people function best this way and God can definitely bless that and use it. However, God also calls his people to push the envelope and shake things up from time to time. If God is calling you to do that, just remember Peter. The believers back at Jerusalem gave him a lot of heat for what he did with Cornelius. People are resistant to change and God’s change-agents tend to be unpopular people much of the time.
- Change is hard, even for the change-agent. It is comforting to realize that Peter was in process himself. He did not fully understand what was happening around him or the role that God had used him in to turn the religious scene on its ear. Peter was simply obedient. Later on in the story we’ll see that Peter continued to struggle with the racial tension that was deep inside his own soul. However, the lesson we need to follow is found in Peter’s simple statement, “Who was I to think that I could oppose God?”
May this be our attitude each day. We are called not necessarily to understand, but simply to obey when God says, “Go!”