Unstoppable! 'Why Eat with Them?' — Acts 11:2-3

Friday, June 16, 2023

But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem [after leading Cornelius and his relatives and friends to Christ], the Jewish believers criticized him. "You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!" they said.

— Acts 11:2-3 NLT

Key Thought

The expressed objection of the Jewish Christians in this passage was not to Peter's preaching to Cornelius and other Gentiles and baptizing them. Rather, they had a problem with Peter's extending full fellowship to Cornelius along with his Gentile relatives and friends. The Gentiles didn't require that their foods meet the Jewish dietary restrictions or that the food preparation follow Jewish cleanliness practices — these Gentile foods and practices were not kosher. But Peter's vision had addressed exactly these concerns (Acts 10:9-15). Also, these Gentile converts were not taught to obey the law of Moses. Many of the early Jewish believers wondered how Gentile Christians could be acceptable to God. The Jewish believers were shocked that Peter spent time in Cornelius' house and ate at Cornelius' table with Gentiles. The next several chapters of Acts will reveal more about this struggle. We must recognize that full fellowship — eating together and spending time in each other's homes — is an essential part of Christian fellowship. Without it, we are not a real family. This truth means we MUST reach out and practice hospitality with each other, especially those who are different from us and outside our normal circle of relationships.

Today's Prayer

O Father, please help us as we try to be genuine brothers and sisters in Christ. We don't want to be a family in name only. We want our fellowship to be authentic, tender, and sweet. Open our eyes to those whom we must include and bring into our circle of relationships and involve in our fellowship. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 2:41-42, 4:32-35
  • Romans 14:1-21

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 11:2-3 NLT — But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem [after leading Cornelius and his relatives and friends to Christ], the Jewish believers criticized him. "You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!" they said.

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.