- Acts 10:28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
The Book of Leviticus primarily focuses on responsibilities of the Levites, instructions for the Priests, and guidelines for the Jews to live a holy life according to God’s Law. The word ‘unclean’ appears in the Book of Leviticus 109 times! The primary meaning of unclean is defiled, polluted or contaminated. Leviticus exhaustively details what things are unclean, how someone or something can become unclean, and the implications of or resolutions to (when possible) becoming unclean.
Whether dealing with eating certain foods, touching certain dead animals, contacting someone with leprosy, or any number of other restrictions/conditions, becoming unclean was very serious. In Acts Chapter 10, Peter is dealing with the view of Jews that associating with Gentiles (anyone who is not a Jew) was a means of defilement. But God revealed to Peter that these prejudices were inappropriate.
Through salvation in Christ, by God’s grace, we are all cleansed, purified and joined as one family, one church, the body of Christ.
- Acts 15:8-9 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
- John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
- 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
- Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
- Romans 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
So who do you consider unclean?
- The church member whose spouse has just left?
- The person visiting the church whose very casual dress offends you?
- The homeless man standing on the corner asking for food?
- The person on the news just convicted of murder?
Is God asking you to comfort or greet a brother or sister in Christ who may need a word of encouragement or a welcoming smile? Has God convicted you of giving money or sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with someone in need?
How did we get ‘clean’ anyway? It was nothing we did or deserved!
Father, You are building a Holy Church with those You have cleansed with the Blood of Christ. Forgive me when I judge others. Forgive me when I forget the filth You washed out of and off of me. May Your Church be obedient by treating everyone with love and by leaving the judging to You. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.