Are there any foods that you think are gross and won’t eat, but actually they are good for you?
Jesus wants us to love everyone just like he did. But loving others, especially those who are very different from us can be really hard. Often we think that we are better than other people and that can keep us from loving them. Or we might think that others are so bad that God must not want us to be around them at all. But is that really what God wants?
The book of Acts tells us a story about the Apostle Peter and how he thought exactly this way. You see back then the Jewish people divided everything and everyone into two categories: clean or unclean. If something or someone was “clean” then they were approved by God. But if something or someone was “unclean” then God did not approve of them.
This included food. The Jewish people thought there was “clean” food and “unclean” food. Foods God approved of and foods God did not approve of.
But God wanted Peter to know that he did not divide everything into clean and unclean. Because Jesus died on the cross everyone can be saved. God loves everyone, not just certain people. And God also loves all food too. Not just certain foods. So to teach Peter that he loves all people, God sent Peter a vision of a giant sheet full of “unclean” animals for him to eat. Listen to what God said to Peter in Acts 10:
Acts 10:13-15. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”
Peter thought he was obeying God by staying away from certain foods and certain people. But God wanted Peter and us to know that he does not want us to stay away from other people, even if they are different from us or believe something different from us. God wants us to go to them and tell them about the good news of Jesus. Just like eating all kinds of different foods is OK, it is OK to be friends with all different kinds of people.
God wanted Peter to go share Jesus with a Roman (not Jewish) soldier name Cornelius. Cornelius was very different from Peter, but peter obeyed God and went and told Cornelius about Jesus. And Cornelius received Jesus and became a Christian. Yay!
And then Peter said these words:
Acts 10:28b. God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
Because of Jesus was are never separated from God or each other.
With Jesus we can be friends with everyone and tell everyone about him.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch the Fox and the Hound together if you have time (or just the trailer below). Stories of “unlikely friendship” can be great illustrations of how God wants us to love everyone.
You want us to love everyone just like you do. Help me to do that today knowing that you love me too.
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