Peter’s beliefs are being challenged, and he is deeply confused. He thought the vision was a test; God tells him otherwise.
God is preparing him, and us, for a new revelation.
“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
How could he understand this? Jesus came to fulfill the law…now he (Peter) is told to break it…!!
He has no time to ponder this.
The Spirit tells him, “I have sent three men to come for you. Go with them.” No explanation is given.
As Peter begins his journey he can’t begin to imagine how the world he knows is about to change.
It is all very confusing: “Eat what is considered ’unclean;’ travel with strangers to a strange city; enter the house of a gentile.
A few days ago he was praying and healing people and raising the dead, but now he is into something that is beyond his understanding. Only his trust in the Lord keeps him going.
In Caesarea, Cornelius falls on his face as Peter enters the house - even greater confusion for him. All he can say is (as much to himself as his host), “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile.” Acts 10:28
As Cornelius tells of his experience, Peter has the revelation, “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.” Acts 10:34
There is a sudden awakening to the truth: Jesus died for all, Gentile and Jew, to make them one in Him.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace…” Ephesians 2:14-15
This incredible revelation of God’s inclusiveness is confirmed by the Holy Spirit falling on those in the house. Nonetheless, it becomes a problem with many of the Jewish converts and soon creates a problem in the growing church.
This will become the struggle between the ‘law keepers’ and those who walk by ‘grace,’ between the traditional, accepted way, and the new freedom and inclusiveness of the Kingdom.
Peter soon discovers that this one act of obedience is the start of a conflict that will play out over the next 2000 years.
It is as much a challenge in our daily walk as it was in the early church. God’s new move will provoke us to trust, accept what He is doing and change, or cause us to stay firmly planted in the old way, resisting the new and calling it “Unholy.”
“Lord, open our eyes to see and our ears to hear the new and marvelous way you are expressing Yourself to us today.”
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it!” Isaiah 43:19