Yesterday we left off with Cornelius’ servants being sent on their way to find Peter; however, Peter was “upon the housetop” praying “at the sixth hour” or 12 noon.
I love Peter. I can so relate to him. While he is praying in verse 10, he becomes “very hungry.” He had to wait while his friend “made ready” the meal. During this prayer, while his stomach rumbled, Peter “fell into a trance.” Like Cornelius the day before, God gave Peter a “vision.”
Peter saw “heaven” or the sky open up and there was “an object” that he could only describe as “a great sheet” that was “knit (or bound) at the four corners.” I think it must have looked something like a parachute.
In this massive “sheet” Peter, in verse 12, saw “all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things and fowls of the air.” He saw basically the contents of Noah’s ark floating around in the “great sheet.” While Peter wondered at the meaning, “a voice,” no doubt the voice of God said “Rise Peter; kill and eat.” Is not it odd that this command came when Peter was “very hungry!”
As a Jew, Peter was repulsed at the idea of eating the flesh of “unclean” animals. In the Old Testament, God gave the Jews specific dietary laws. They were only to eat “kosher” animals that both chew a cud and have divided hooves. Leviticus 11 further delineates the specifics of the laws.
We see that the dietary laws were given to separate the Jews from the Gentiles. Now, God was bringing Jews and Gentiles together in the church. I love what is about to happen. We will see how important it is for us to minister to all people.