Peter was sick at the thought of eating Gentile foods. He said in today’s verse, “Not so, Lord” or “No way!” He said, “I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”
Poor Peter, he had never had a ham sandwich or a delectable pork chop. He had never tasted crab or lobster tail. Trance or no trance, he wasn’t about to start. Again, the voice spoke in verse 15, “What God has cleansed [lit. “declared clean”] you must not call common.”
Evidently, Peter still refused because verse 16 says the whole scene was repeated “three times.”
This vision symbolized two truths: First, it taught that God had abolished the Old Testament dietary laws (Aren’t you glad?!). Second, it taught that God was bringing both Jews [the “clean” animals] and Gentiles [the “unclean” animals] together in one church. God no longer needed to enforce the dietary laws to separate the Jews. He no longer wanted them separate!
Not yet understanding, perplexed, Peter “doubted in himself what this vision… meant.” Hunger forgotten, Peter was scratching his chin in deep thought. While Peter was still pondering his “dream,” the “men which were sent from Cornelius” walked up and “stood before the gate” and called to those who were in the house to find out if Peter was there. They spoke from the gate because Jews would not invite them on their property. They had some strange rules! We often make “strange” rules to fit our narrow paradigms. Stay tuned, there is more to come!