Acts 10: 34
“Then Peter began to speak: “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism”
“I now realise”. I love these 3 words. It is a turnaround. It’s is rethinking. A change of mind and of heart too.
Leaders can be wrong! We can think strange things! Taken in by cultural understandings, we sometimes need to grow up in God and say ‘I was wrong’, ‘I now believe this …’
That’s all very well, but it is a lot more difficult when the belief that you are trying to turn against is held by the majority.
For most of the Jews of Peters day they believed that God actually hated the Gentiles and loved the Jews. Think about the following beliefs:
There were 3 things to be thankful for as a Jewish man, you were not a slave, a woman or a GENTILE.
Never help a GENTILE, not at all, no matter how small or how much of an emergency it was. The answer was NO.
Funerals were held for Jews who married GENTILES. They were dead people.
Yes, it ran deep!
Peter once believed all of that.
Interestingly, Peter was part of the discipleship team of Jesus and still he was prejudiced. How was that possible?! He had seen the love of Jesus to every person no matter Jew or Gentile. How could he hold such hate in his heart. But he did and it needed changing, that God has no favourites. He loves equally.
Maybe the answer can be had by asking the same question of those today who are in a discipleship team, who love and follow Jesus, but who look down on other people and condemn them because they are different to them. For example, U.S. Pastor Steven Anderson who after a nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12th 2016, where 49 gay people were killed actually unbelievably said on national tv, “The good news is that there are now 50 less paedophiles in this world.”
Yes it still exists this hatred towards others.
You might disagree with a person’s belief or behaviour but you are stupid to disagree with God’s love!
May there be many more, ‘I now realise’ moments!