Thursday, February 3, 2011
All Manner of Creeping Things
Act 11:5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: 6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. 8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. 9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
The sheet let down from heaven 3 times in Peter's vision contained a zoo full of live, non-kosher animals.
Who knows, maybe there was a piglet, an owl, a rabbit, perhaps a snake and a lobster. None-the-less, it would be enough to make any self-respecting Jew turn his nose up in disgust.
Did you hear about the guy caught red-handed hunting spotted owls in California? At his trial, the judge decided to go easy on him because he was so back-woodsy and ignorant of the law.
Finally, the judge asked the fellow, "By the way, what does a spotted owl taste like?"
"Well," he drawled, "Somewhere between a bald eagle and a California condor."
Overcoming Peter's distaste for unclean foods was simply preparation for overcoming religious bigotry. Jews would be reluctant to believe that repentance could be granted to the Gentiles. But this little zoological lesson would serve as a big hint, God loves everybody and sent His Son for every one of every race.
Once, while teaching in a Navajo church, we took a coffee break and I was relating to one gentleman about our church on the Ute reservation.
"Ugh!" He said, "Waste of time! Utes have no souls!"
As sad as that was, later on, I couldn't help but chuckle. Old prejudices die hard. Some are reluctant to bury the hatchet.
God has indeed granted repentance unto the Gentiles, and anyone else because, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Pass out a tract or witness today to someone who doesn’t look like you, God loves their eternal soul.