Scripture – Acts 11:9
The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’
In Jewish culture, it was forbidden for Jews to eat with uncircumcised Gentiles. This moment was a paradigm shift for Peter. He understood for the first time that Jesus had paid the price for all people and that he was not to judge others based on the nation or culture they were born into, but rather to offer them the free gift of salvation as it had been offered to him. This concept had not yet been introduced to the Early Church despite being commanded to “make disciples of all nations”. This experience forced something that Peter knew in his brain to take root in his heart. Our prejudices are often so masked by a religious spirit and our christian jargon.
If we are truly honest with ourselves, who do we view as ‘unclean’? What group do we view as of lesser importance to share Jesus with? Is there anything in our hearts that feels that certain people have ‘made their bed so now they need to lie in it’? Do we subconsciously view people of different nations, cultures, religions or even denominations with even a hint of disdain or less worth than ourselves?
Peter was one of the first to truly understand that the Good New of Jesus being the Christ, the Savior, the Redeemer of all sin for all people, was, in fact for ALL PEOPLE to hear.
In what way could each of us be the first in our family, or our community, or our church, to repent of our prejudices and reach out to the ones that everyone else has already given up on? It could be the arrogant, full-of-himself, step-over-anyone-to-climb-the-corporate-ladder guy that nobody likes in the office. It could be the kid at school who cross-dresses and has tattoos that read “I hate people”. It could be the old lady who lives at the end of the street that you know practices witchcraft.
In some way, let us all choose to view ALL PEOPLE as worthy and deserving of hearing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, I ask that you would show me the prejudices that live in my heart. I repent of viewing certain people or groups of people as anything but deserving of hearing the truth about you. You paid the price for everyone. I’m thankful those who pointed me towards you did not consider me ‘too far gone’ or ‘not worth the hassle’. Unlock in me greater wisdom and understanding of what you are doing to expand your kingdom in me and all around me. I am redeemed. May I share this redemption with people no matter their background, culture, religion, or attitude. Because you are worthy, God. In your name, amen.