September 27, 2020
Although you can understand in your mind theological concepts about God, you can never fully experience the love of God outside of community. Individuals make decisions to follow Jesus, but by following together in community, they become disciples. Church should be a safe place where we can “take off the mask” and yet be fully accepted. Being a disciple intrinsically means that we share life together as we seek to grow in our faith. We cannot possibly expect that everyone will be your best friend, but we do expect disciples to have significant relationships in the church community. Peter found this out the hard way. The same man who sought to cut off the ear of a Jewish priest guard now is asked to share the gospel with a Roman gentile centurion. He was asked to make space in the family for his number one enemy. Cornelius, a member of the army that killed Jesus, now belonged to the family.
Have you ever been in a situation that you had to spend time with someone that was very different from you? Explain
Was Peter wrong for initially refusing to eat from the unclean food? Why is God asking him to do so?
Why do you think that he had to hear it three times?
What do you think was the most difficult thing for Peter about accepting Cornelius in the church? How would you have felt if you were Peter? How would you have felt if you were Cornelius?