Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” (Acts 11:1 – 3)

I am seeing parallels lately. Peter breaking bread with Gentiles. Jesus eating with known sinners. Now, maybe the apostles & believers were not as scathing in their criticism as the Jewish leaders were of Jesus – in fact I am pretty sure it was curiosity that motivated the believers in Judea. But still, the parallel is there. More so of Peter following the will of the Divine than critiquing missionary decisions.

“Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven.” (Verses 4 – 10)

I made note to myself that Peter did not eat – that is, in the vision he saw the symbols things that were profane to him, but it was not a reality that was deluding him into betraying his conscious and traditions. Maybe that was an important point to the believers in Judea, that this was not the story of a man deluded but a man being instructed.

“At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ “ (Verses 11 – 14)

The believers also heard that Peter was not alone in going. That he had others with him to witness what happened in that household, that it was done under the auspice of the Holy Presence, and that the conversion was sincere.

“And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” (Verses 15 – 17)

Was that the only thing Peter remembered? Did he remember Jesus telling Peter to “feed his sheep”? And did Peter not learn that he should not judge who are and are not the Divine’s sheep? Who are we, beloved reader, to judge who and who is not part of the family of the Lord God?

“When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.” (Verse 18)

I can imagine that silence. I can imagine it was a long silence for Peter, wondering what would happen. Peter had stepped in forth before – sometimes getting it right, and sometimes getting it wrong. A long silence – and then Peter was confirmed that his mission and vision was approved! I am sure that Jesus the Christ who recognized and called Peter . . . . smiled that Peter was indeed feeding Jesus’ sheep! Shalom & Selah!