TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9
But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him.
“You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said.
Acts 11:2-3 (NLT)
LIVING SENT: SOME WON’T BE HAPPY FOR ME
It is very easy to find fault with people or things. I once heard a story on how a dog hitched to a lawn mower stopped pulling to bark at a passerby. The boy who was guiding the mower said, “Don’t mind the dog, he is just barking for an excuse to rest. It is easier to bark than to pull the mower.” (Lou Nicholes).
It was easier for Jewish believers in Acts 11 to criticize Peter than it was for them to rejoice that Gentiles were being saved. The believers said, “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” Their accusation was two-fold: 1) entering a Gentile home and 2) eating with Gentiles (with possible intake of “unclean” food), both of which were considered abominations to Jews and were “mistakes” any self-respecting Jew would never commit. A.T. Robertson comments, “They did not object to Peter’s preaching to the Gentiles, but to his going into the house of Cornelius and eating with them, violating his supposed obligations as a Jew. It was the same complaint in principle that the Pharisees had made against Jesus when he ate with publicans and sinners (Luke 5:30).
Following Jesus is rarely popular. There will be times when God sends us on His mission and others will disagree, openly criticize us or even “bark” at us. When was the last time you had a meal with someone with the intention of sharing God’s love with them? How does it make you feel knowing you are following Jesus’ example when you spend time with lost people who need to hear the Gospel?
Thank God for the people who weren’t afraid of criticism when they shared Jesus with you. Ask God to give you courage in the face of opposition when you are obeying His calling for you.