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Peter’s Vision July 16, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,

Here are my thoughts on Acts 10:9-23a.

Summary: In this passage, Peter had the following vision:

  • a large sheet that contained a panoply of unclean animals descended from heaven
  • a voice from heaven commanded him to kill and eat these animals
  • he demurred, citing his strict adherence to the Mosaic law
  • the voice asserted that God had nullified the distinction between clean and unclean animals.

After the vision occurred three times, Peter was left to ponder its significance. At that point, the messengers whom Cornelius had sent from Caesarea arrived and called for him. God alerted him to their presence and told him to go with them. He greeted them, and they conveyed their instructions from Cornelius.

Thoughts: Here, we see that Peter had great difficulty comprehending the significance of his vision. This stemmed in part from the fact that he had been raised to observe the Mosaic law – and the law specified a distinction between clean and unclean animals. I was spurred to consider any beliefs that I had acquired in my youth that I later discovered to be flawed. Perhaps the best example of this is that I grew up believing in the relative superiority of my race; I believed that those who belonged to my ethnicity were naturally more intelligent and hard-working than those who belonged to other ethnicities. As time has passed, I have acquired a greater sense of my ignorance in this regard – yet ridding myself of bigotry has been quite difficult. Perhaps it is natural for people to have difficulty renouncing incorrect beliefs that reinforce their self-esteem…

We also see that Peter continued to ponder the meaning of his vision after it occurred three times. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verse 17:

But we must also note that Luke adds that Peter thought about the vision intently (after he came out of his trance, that is). It was a sign of his godly reverence that he did not carelessly allow the vision to escape him. Therefore, the Lord opened to him when he knocked. We are rightly chastened for our laziness by not making better progress in the Word of the Lord, for we are so cold and have so little desire to inquire.

At this point, I still find many sections of the Bible to be abstruse; examples include the lessons of Jesus in the Gospels, the prophetic visions in the Old Testament, and large sections of the Pentateuch. Thus, this passage encourages me in that Peter strove to understand truth from God. Of course, I am reminded that I should not be content with a mere intellectual understanding of truth from God. Just as God helped Peter understand his vision in order to bring the Gentiles to Himself, I must also see how God can help me understand His truth in order to be a blessing to others.



1. Thomas - July 16, 2016

Amen and Amen🙌 Like the example you cited and Peter, this is particularly hard when God is challenging a stronghold in our lives. Like Jacob if we are not willing to give up until we get the blessing, God will be faithful. God will continue to reveal His Word to you as you walk with Him.

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