Acts 11:9

The scripture for today is Acts 11:9


Acts 11:9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, 'what God has cleansed you must not call common.'  


In our text for today, Peter is recounting His vision of unclean animals descending down from heaven in a large sheet. Peter then heard the instructions to "rise Peter, kill and eat." Peter did not eat those kind of animals. In fact, he responded that nothing "common or unclean" had ever entered his mouth. This happened not once, but three times in his vision and all of the unclean animals were drawn again up into heaven. Peter was perplexed about this and wondered what it meant. Unfortunately today, many Bible teachers are teaching that, through Peter's vision, God was proclaiming that all kinds of animals can now be eaten, even the ones that He specifically said should never be eaten. Was that what God was trying to convey to Peter? Peter was a New Testament apostle. He studied in the school of Christ, walked, ministered and lived with the Savior for three and a half years. After Jesus ascended back into heaven, Peter stood on the Day of Pentecost and delivered a powerful message to the crowds assembled there. Thousands were converted and came to Christ. Yet Peter still refused to eat unclean meat. Peter did not understand the vision, but He did understand that if the literal eating of these animals was what was intended, it was not in accordance with the Word of God, so Peter refused to eat. In fact, he continued to refuse to eat all three times.  He was convicted by the Word and refused to move from the instructions of scripture.


God, however, was using the example of unclean animals to get to a much larger issue with Peter. It was not animals that God wanted Peter to accept, it was the people. Peter, and all of the Jews, considered the gentiles unclean and excluded from the covenant of God. Peter and the rest of the Jewish believers would not associate with gentiles. God, however, intended for the gospel to be extended not only the Jews, but to all of the world. He had to wake Peter up to the intent of the heart of God. God used unclean animals to represent all of the people of the world that Peter considered common or unclean. Afterward Peter entered the house of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, "And he said unto them, You know that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." Acts 10:28  "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted with Him." Acts 10:34-35


Peter's vision had nothing to do with eating unclean meats. It had to do with breaking down the wall of prejudice so that the gospel could go into all the world. Food that was unclean before the cross was just as unclean after the cross. Jesus did not die to cleanse animals; He died to redeem mankind from sin.  No pigs were cleansed at Calvary; unclean animals are still unclean today. But the gospel of Jesus Christ is extended to all nations, races and people groups. All can be cleansed by the blood of Christ.


God bless you as you continue in His service.