June 15. Acts 11:1-18
GRACE LESSONS: Peter is not done learning lessons from the Lord and this scripture passage is a case in point. He’d always kept his distance from Gentiles. Then, God sends a vision that totally changes his lenses on how to view the world. He’s told quite clearly that God loves the Gentiles, too, and will receive them into full fellowship on equal footing with the Jewish Christians. God, in His grace, extends salvation to all and Peter is asked to lead the way among all the (up until now) only Jewish converts.
OUR PASSAGE: Peter summarizes Acts 10 in today’s passage. If you want the longer version, go back and read that chapter. It is basically a radical new commissioning of the church that confirms what Jesus already said, several times, during His earthly ministry. Here are some verses that ought to have made this clear:
John 4:22-23 NIV: “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
John 10:14-16 NIV: “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
Acts 1:8 NIV: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
My verse: Acts 11:17 “And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?”
My response: Peter fully accepts this “new way” led by the Spirit! He’s no longer rigid in his ideas of how things ought to be. Instead, he’s attuned to the Spirit within, gladly following His direction and walking in faith and grace. Father God, help me to hear You that clearly as Your Spirit speaks to me.