Monday, 4 January 2021
Question of the Day: What is the meaning of Peter's vision?
Answer: Ask any 2 people and you're likely to get 3 opinions. First, let's get the essence of the vision. Acts 10:15 "Again a voice came to him, a second time: What God has made clean, you must not consider unholy." Some people believe this verse proves God endorses "the other white meat." I believe that each of us should be persuaded in his own mind how to obey God. I just don't want anyone to mistakenly use this verse as part of their decision on kashrut (kosher laws), because it has nothing to do with eating. As we will see, it has to do with calling any man clean or unclean.
Why don't we ask Peter what his vision meant? How can we ask Peter, he is no longer with us? But the Biblical recording of his answer is still with us. My point is that Peter didn't understand his own vision at first. Acts 10:17 "Now while Peter was puzzling about what the vision he had seen might mean, behold, the men sent by Cornelius found Simon's house and appeared before the gate."
Peter was wondering what the vision meant when there was a knock at the door. Acts 10:19 "Now while Peter was mulling over the vision, the Ruach said to him, 'Look here, three men are looking for you.'"
Then Peter got the revelation the next day as he entered Cornelius' house ... Acts 10:28 "He said to them, 'You yourselves know that it is not permitted for a Jewish man to associate with a non-Jew or to visit him. Yet God has shown me that I should call no one (no man) unholy or unclean.'"
While the vision was about eating, it was a vision which was symbolic of a greater reality, namely fellowship. In these days of division and offense, we should take Peter's vision to heart and be loving toward all people without regard to race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, and the list goes on.
When I say "loving," I don't mean coddling individuals or endorsing sin. There is a verse ... Ephesians 4:14-15 "As a result, we are no longer to be like children, tossed around by the waves and blown all over by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men with cunning in deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all ways into Messiah, who is the Head."
That is not beating people over the head with a Bible. It is taking the relationships and opportunities that God provides, to share the truth in love. Let's be ready, as the Holy Spirit leads, to tell people how God has the answers to every problem of life. Better than "telling," is "testifying" how God solved our own problems. That:is what Peter did.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,