August 28 I Saturday
1 Corinthians 10:1-18
“Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ ‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’” —Acts 10:13-14
Peter receives a vision, where he saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. The sheet contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Afterwards, a voice said to get up, kill and eat. But being a devout Jew, Peter answered, “I have not eaten anything impure or unclean.” Then the voice retorted, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (Acts 10:11-15). We could tell that Peter was troubled and struggling because he was shown this vision three times.
Peter’s response revealed that our bias towards others can even be rooted in our theological understanding, where we can actually select parts of the Bible to support our view towards other people whom we consider unclean and choose to avoid. Due to our family of origin, cultural upbringing or even our understanding of the Bible, we could also easily twist the Word of God. There were all kinds of people throughout history that used Scripture to support their views and to do things in God’s name that had nothing to do with God. Although they were pointing to the Bible, it did not mean they had correct theology.
God gave Peter a vision to help him understand that the gospel is for all people. Peter needed to make room in his heart, even for people whom he may consider unclean. Before we become too judgemental towards Peter, we need to recognize that, as Christians, we are the same. We may have biases towards those who are different from us and not be aware of it. We can even formulate a theology of separation and judge the world around us. Christ came and called us to go to the very people that we have avoided all our lives.
In a nutshell, we cannot be a Christian and hate our brother. 1 John 3:15 clearly tells us, “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” However, we can be a Christian and have some cultural biases, blind spots or confused theology that we are not aware of. As we walk with Christ, He opens our eyes to see some of the blind spots that exist.
We can find comfort in the fact that if an apostle—who walked with Jesus physically for years and was used to establish the church in Jerusalem—could have blind spots, make mistakes and still be a work in progress, so can we. The gospel of salvation is for all—what do we need to uproot from our flawed theology to embrace that?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, indeed, Your gospel is for all. Please open my eyes to any cultural blind spots and biases that I still have. Forgive me for holding on to this false theology and teach me to walk in Your ways. Thank You, Lord.