As Peter’s fascinating vision concludes, God’s voice issues this pointed order. His command is a shock to my modern ear.
Rise. Kill. Eat.
How explicit. How bestial. How carnal.
Despite its seeming brutality, the command provides an abundant metaphor for the working of Christ’s Kingdom in this world and illuminates the severity with which God treats the order.
By backfilling the deep well of cultural, legal, and religious discord surrounding Food in Peter’s world, God called him to supersede, forget, and forgive any and every barrier to relationship between the established order of Jewish culture and the entire gentile world. A world of marked otherness: cultural, interpersonal, familial, legal, and otherwise. Food law offered a good base illustration, but the core of God’s message spreads through every facet of relational life. God commands and blesses us to actively move beyond legalisms that impede relationship.
The metaphor leaves no room for doubt as to how serious this command is. Kill everything that has taken to pasture in the grounds between you and your neighbour. Social standing. Race. History. Politics. Diet. Religion. Hygiene. Attitude. Interests. Education. Opinions. If they block the transmission of relationship, they block the profession of God’s love.
What you do to the least of these…
This simple command embodies God’s call to His church. Kill any, kill every obstacle in the way of loving your neighbour. This is the work of the Gospel.
A response to Acts 10:9-23
Best When Broken Teaching Series