6 looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and
reptiles and birds of the air. 7 and i heard a voice saying to me,
‘rise, peter; kill and eat.’ 8 but I said, ‘by no means, Lord; for
nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
good food, bad food
can eating the wrong kinds of food make person unclean? my parents seemed to think so! as a child, i was convinced that things like candy, chips, and fast food were horribly bad for me to eat. yet no one mentioned any problems with eating reptiles or birds. this passage has a strange feel to it, but its meaning for us is
extraordinary and life-changing.
you are what you eat
the context of this passage is peter defending himself to the church leaders in jerusalem. this group of devout jews, who had accepted the jewish messiah, were troubled by the rumors of peter eating like a gentile! in fact, they went so far as to criticize him for it. they weren’t just concerned – they were angry. in their minds, this was
not only unhealthy, it was ungodly. this group had followed jewish dietary requirements their whole lives, and felt betrayed that someone as visible as peter was no longer ‘doing the right thing’.
taking a bite out of legalism
when peter was confronted with this, he confirmed the rumors to be true! he told them of his vision, and how he had initially refused to eat anything unclean. what they all learned was that God was doing something greater than any of them could have imagined, and had made His grace available to all people everywhere. the food we eat was just one example of how the legalism that had kept people separate had given way to an era of grace for all.
~ jason soroski