From the roof top overlooking the sea he waited the sight breathtaking, nothing but blue skies. When is the last time you took in an expansive view of endless possibility?
God can do anything. The events of recent months shook his mind, and heart to an outstanding belief in the miraculous. Similar to the shaken effects on a soda, the miraculous was uncontainable.
The city on the Mediterranean, Joppa, where he was waiting for his meal overlooks the sea. Over 2,000 years ago, it would be written in Hebrew Yapo, meaning “beauty” from the mass of sunshine that it’s houses reflected.
Here, the prophet Jonah took ship to flee from the presence of his Maker. Here, on the house-top of Simon the tanner, Peter found himself, hungry before a meal and most likely enjoying the evening sun, and blue skies.
It sounds like a perfect holiday location for Peter. After the events of a paralytic healed and a charitable woman raised from death to life the coastal city was full of new believers and new friends. Peter was not currently occupied with the next mission, neither frantic about the state of the church, he is simply a house guest by the sea. God’s work so good, a city reached and the news of Jesus Christ spilling from one person to another. Peter recently submerged in the outpourings of the Spirit, refreshed like a one catching welcome ocean waves. The experience filled him with peace, joy, faithfulness, power, and the constant indwelling boldness of God. Ah the reflection of a good day that leads into another good day fueled by God’s will. It wasn’t that Peter hadn’t a few bad days prior though, full of personal failure and struggle.
Part of Peter’s struggle demonstrated a strong characteristic of God, his willingness to utilize us beyond the mistakes we make. Peter, had formerly left the mission, betrayed the cause, sold out for the fear of man, and the fear of death. And yet Jesus never gave up on him. He prayed for him, met with him and restored his call. Go ahead and read the story of their restoration meal in John 21. Note that Jesus repeatedly would connect with Peter at the point of Peter’s hunger. Likewise, God will connect with you and I when we hunger and thirst for righteousness.
After that restoration encounter Peter would wait, for God’s promised Spirit. God didn’t let the story end in failure. He would fill him with the urge and ability to preach in boldness again. Boldness would follow the Holy Spirit falling down upon the gathered faithful. The Spirit would then spill out of that upper room to the nations gathered in Jerusalem, to ultimately a class of men, Peter wouldn’t dare even share a meal.
He, Jesus Christ, invested powerfully in a man who would argue with God’s vision. The same vision filling his blue sky view from Simon the tanner’s house-top telling him to “kill and eat” to partake of the unclean (meats he had never considered a meal). God would repeat the message three times.
Fullness of understanding, came after his obedience to go towards a people he had never met, whom God knew. God’s command to “not hesitate” found a ready follower. Peter, unlike Jonah headed out in God’s direction. Upon arrival at Cornelius the centurion’s home, the extent of grace and the welcome arms of God prompted a preacher to preach. Dare I say a message of blue skies, without partiality for every nation and every man.
Opening his mouth, Peter said:
“I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)- that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. (Acts 10:34-45)
Questions to Consider:
Who is God calling you towards?
What are you spiritually hungry for?
Very good view point of Peter’s experience! I appreciate the questions Charity. Love the point that God is no respector of persons. That means God is calling us to witness to anyone God sends us. And that experience will be filling to us!