May 13

Acts 11:1-10

“But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’” vs. 9

After the resurrection the disciples considered themselves to still be Jews…it likely wasn’t even a question for them. Jesus was their Messiah but all the laws of Moses were still in effect. To be sure in the course of his ministry Jesus had exhibited a relaxed attitude about sinners and freely offered forgiveness. Occasionally he had even acted in a gracious way toward foreigners, but no one had supposed that there would be any mixing of Jews and Gentiles. Peter’s vision sparked one of the most critical developments in the early church. His insight challenged a basic tenet of Judaism and opened the way to an entirely new view of creation. No longer could followers of Jesus separate the world into pure and impure. All things were clean! To be sure this wasn’t a new teaching…the first chapter of Genesis is pretty clear in its claim that all things were created good. But for centuries people had found their identity in labelling the “other” as impure and making exclusive claims for their particular brand of religion. All that was about to change under the leadership of the resurrected Messiah…from now on all people would be regarded as pure and good. There would be no distinctions! Of course that was easier said than done…and even today the struggle continues. Some say we’re making progress…we can only hope!

Thought for the Day: Why do so many churches continue to be segregated?

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