GodReflection: God Breaks In Monday
From the stash of my memory bank its aroma from campfires, mom’s kitchen, grandpa’s stove, my own home, and a gazillion restaurants, is only an instant recall away.
Simon Peter was a Jew. For him ancient Levitical law placed pigs in the category of prohibition.
Like me, Peter was a long term project of Jesus. His impetuousness was matched only by the potential of his heart. Just as John was the disciple who Jesus loved, I suspect Peter was the disciple who Jesus enjoyed.
Is it irreverent to speculate that Jesus smiled as he stretched Simon’s belief in God? Step by step the Master caused him to look into his own soul in preparation for the big reveal of himself as the Messiah.
I can see Jesus delight as Peter snagged a boatload of fish in his net through obedience to the Lord’s command after an all-nighter with no success—both at the beginning and at the end of his earth walk with his new master.
I can see the twinkle in Jesus eye as he called Peter to walk on water with full knowledge he would take a dip and need a life guard.
Story upon story in the Gospels Peter steps out beyond his understanding. With the exception of his Messianic confession of Jesus as being the Christ the Son of God, more often than not Simon got it wrong.
After the first nine chapter written in The Acts of the Apostles, Simon—the work in progress—starts to look more like Peter the rock. However, he has yet another rough edge to treat on his way to the maturity level that is transparent in the two letters he wrote later in life to the churches.
The back story is Saul from Tarsus. Jesus called Saul—the ardent persecutor of Believers—to make the Gentile world his mission. First however, the Jews needed a miracle to see that God’s grace offered through Jesus was also for Gentiles.
What better way to get his attention than a vision of a gourmet menu of pig, lizard, fowl, and reptiles? I can almost hear Jesus say: “Peter’s not going to like this but he will come around. He can handle it once he makes his objections”.
So God lets down a net in full view of Peter’s heart. The Holy breaks in with pigs and lizards to let the Jewish world know that God accepts us pigs and lizards by His grace.
I wish that the story stopped there. It doesn’t.
As a Christ follower I too need to see the vision. Saved by Jesus I too must deal with the net of the unclean.
What could we possibly have in common?
Even people who share my language and skin color live by norms I fail to understand.
It’s always time to replay the Holy voice.
“Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
I wonder if a tattoo of “Call None Unclean” would fit on the inside of my eyelids?
Between bites of bacon I could remind myself that I too need God to break into my life often to get my attention yet again.
I want to remember anew that I stand on the same level ground with every human being at the base of the cross.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on God Breaks In With Pigs and Lizards.