Everybody Loves A Good Story

4 Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

9 “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’ Acts 11:4-14

With each retelling of this story, we get a few more details. We didn’t know how many people went with Peter to Joppa. Whether they were physically or spiritually related is also unclear. Why is this important? Well, we know from previous teachings that when God wants to emphasize something, He’ll repeat the message. I am certain Peter had to talk about this subject regularly for the first few months or years of his ministry because nobody could really grasp that the Gentiles and Jews could be together in harmony with one another.

While the story of Jew versus Gentile is not the Gospel message, it showed how deeply set and prejudiced we can become over time. There was nothing in Jewish law that stated Jews couldn’t associate with Gentiles. We all have these unbiblical prejudices. Sometimes they are warranted. At others, they are just prejudices.

Normally we are not able to identify our prejudices on our own because we don’t think they are prejudices. Ask God to reveal prejudices you may have, if any, towards others.

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