11:1 Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, 3 saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”
4 But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. 6 When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I said, ‘Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’ 9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ 10 Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea. 12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”
This creates such a mix of emotions. The most unexpected one was humour. The most gratifying was harmony. Humour because when Peter was essentially attacked for going to "them" he pretty much said "I didn't do it, God did it!" Harmony because their anger and prejudice was turned to acceptance and praise.
First Peter humbly followed God’s lead and now back home in territory hostile to the Gentiles the believers also humbly follow His lead.
Many today feel the Bible is outdated and irrelevant. How untrue. The events of the past few days in the United States would all be quickly solved if we would submit to God's heart like Peter and those in Jerusalem did. I can assure the hatred of the Jews against Gentiles was not less than the racism in the United States. It was worse. Much worse. Yet when God showed them the error of their ways they humbly submitted to Him. It was nothing short of miraculous, a miracle far greater and far more needed than healing leprosy or other diseases. If any part of the human body is diseased it is our heads and hearts. We hold ideas in our minds and hatred and prejudice in our hearts that is like poison.
I understand the desire to protest injustice. I sympathize with the feelings to exact revenge. Yet if history has taught us anything it is that responding in like manner to evil only creates more evil.
Until we submit to the truth that God has created from one blood all the peoples of the earth things will never change. Until all people regardless of gender or heritage or colour or nationality or sexual expression etc... are seen as and treated as equal the events of these past weeks will continue to intensify all over the globe.
The Bible is relevant. God has the answers. Truth is the antidote. If hard hearted Jews raised and immersed in generations of bigotry and prejudiced could come under the heart changing influence of God so can we. The miracle can be ours as well. It begins with me. It begins with you. It begins on our street. It begins in our neighbourhood. Pray for your police officers. Pray for the marginalized. Smile at "them". Buy them a drink. Hug someone. Love conquers fear. It tears down walls. It creates friends where once there were enemies.
Give God glory for creating us so different yet exactly the same. One blood. Love Wins.