Clean, Unclean and the Great Equalizer
9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Corneliusfound out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
Peter was to have a lesson on the power of the gospel in this story. While he was praying God gave him a vision of unclean foods that he had to eat. He wouldn’t dare touch it because the Jewish laws won’t allow him to eat such detestable food. Why would God command him to do such thing?
Then God declares: “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
The gospel cleanses. The gospel purifies. The gospel refocuses our mind on the purpose of the law. The law is good but it will never give life. We will never be able to live up to the law. We need Christ. Christ became the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. He was opening the gospel not just for the Jews but also the Gentiles. The gospel is the great equalizer. Jesus came to save all people – Jews, Gentiles, seemingly good people and the really wicked people.
19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” 21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.