Dining With “Them”

Wendy Pope

Day: 13 | Plan: Acts

Today's Reading: Acts 11

Acts 11:3b (NIV) “‘You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.’”

Have you ever had a meal or even a cup of coffee with “them”? Someone “your people” would completely disapprove of you dining with? This was what Peter did. He dined with the adversary, the Gentiles. His behavior made the others gasp in disbelief. 

The hostility between the Jews and Gentiles was long-standing. The Jewish people were descendants of the patriarchal line of Abraham and were God’s chosen people. The Gentiles did not have the patriarchal lineage, but like the Jews strictly followed the law of Moses. However, while many Gentiles believed and accepted the good news of Jesus, most Jews believed Jesus to be a prophet, not the Messiah. The Jewish people even thought the Gentiles to be “unclean.” So for Peter, a Jew, to share a meal with the Gentiles was quite scandalous. Peter was willing to go against the status quo.

This wasn’t the first time Peter stood boldly. He made an attempt to set up a home base on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, James, John, Moses and Elijah. At the Garden of Gethsemane he cut off the ear of Malchus, a Roman guard. Peter was known for radical and audacious behavior.

Jesus spent His entire ministry touching the untouchable and dining with “them.” His teachings were radical and His behavior went against the establishment. Peter was just following Jesus’ example.

I am challenged by Peter’s audaciousness. How often do I dine “with them”? Am I willing to cross over cultural, racial and spiritual lines to make sure the message of the good news is heard by all people, everywhere?

Prayer: Lord, I pray I have the courage to have audacious faith. That I will throw caution to the wind and boldly proclaim the saving grace of Jesus to all people, regardless of their ethnicity or obvious cultural and spiritual differences. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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