If you've been following along with us, we're making our way through the book of Acts in the Bible. Today we asked the question, "Have you ever believed in something to be true, so true that you'd defend it with all its worth, only to find out later that you were wrong?"
This question involves deep-seeded beliefs that one might take to the grave. In Acts 9:43-10:48 we see a few examples of these types of beliefs being challenged in the early Christian church. Do these same beliefs challenge us today?
1. Samaria- Acts 9:43- The early church was to bring the good news of Christ into Samaria. This was very difficult for the Jews to understand because they had grown up believing they could have no dealings with Samaritans. Most Jews would even go miles out of their way in order to not even put a foot on the ground Samaritans lived on. If they did, they'd wipe the dust from their feet. By the way, Jesus went there on purpose often.
2. Simon the Tanner- Acts 9:43- Here we find Peter staying at the house of Simon, a tanner. A tanner was someone who worked with the hides of dead animals. According to Jewish law, if you touched a dead body (animal or human) you would be considered unclean. The whole occupation of a tanner made them unclean and they were required to live outside the city. For Peter to stay at this house went against what he had believed to be wrong at one time.
3. Cornelius the Centurion- Acts 10:28- The Centurion was a commander in the Roman army. He was said to be a good person searching for God. Peter was brought to him to share with him the good news of Christ. Peter said, "You are all well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile (non-Jew) or visit with him." Again, Peter is having to go against his original beliefs.
This passage teaches that God doesn't want us to call any person impure or unclean. It teaches us that God doesn't show favoritism, but accepts men and women from every nation who fear Him and do what is right. God's family is large enough for anybody and everybody who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. No matter what country, color of skin, profession, political party affiliation, gender, etc., God's family has room for all. May we love all and be careful what we believe.
You and I are needed right where we are. God chooses normal, unqualified, everyday sinners like you and me to show and tell others about Jesus. He calls us to be difference makers for the Kingdom, to be bold when we're not confident, when we fumble over our words, or if we fear persecution from others. The Holy Spirit will help us use our own story to point people to Christ while our words become His. May we be evidence of a changed life wherever we are.