Clean or Unclean?

Please read Acts 10 before you read this post. 🙂

In verses 9-16, we read about Peter as he observes a blanket filled with ‘unclean’ beasts and birds. The Lord told him to get up, kill the animals, and eat. Peter, being raised in the Jewish faith, was shocked. He refused to eat the ‘unclean beasts’ that God told Israel in the Old Testament not to eat. The Lord then said “Do not call unclean what I have made clean.” This happened three times.

Peter ponders on this for a while, until several servants Cornelius, “a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment”, sent came to his door. Peter received them and they became his guests for the night. Two days later, we find Peter and Cornelius’ servants in the town of Caesarea. They meet Cornelius and assembled his entire household to hear Peter preach to them.

By the old Jewish law, Jews should not eat certain ‘unclean’ animals. I discovered that the unclean animals stood for the Gentiles. Since Gentiles are also considered unclean, it is fitting for the unclean animals to symbolize them. The Lord then said that Peter should not call unclean what He has made clean. That means Peter should not call Gentiles unclean, for man is made in the image of God. Peter didn’t understand at first, but when Gentiles-Cornelius’ servants came, Peter invited them to be guests in his own house! Then Peter preached to Cornelius’ household, who were also Gentiles! He began to associate with the Gentiles after this revelation.
The meaning in a nutshell: Peter learned that what God has made clean, he should not call unclean. 🙂


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