Daily Lesson for Wednesday 13th of December 2023
In the unreached neighborhood of the cities, there are many who long for hope. During Christ’s time, what prevented God’s people from bringing hope of the Messiah to such foreign cities as Tyre and Sidon? Nationalism, pride, and prejudice blinded God’s people to the opportunities to see those nearest to them who longed for the hope foretold by the prophecies of the First Advent. Today in the cities, there are many population groups with whom Jesus Christ wants His people to share the “blessed hope” of the Second Advent (Titus 2:13). And just as Jesus didn’t care what their nationality or race was, neither should we.
Read Acts 10:9-16,28,34-35. How would you summarize the lesson taught here by the Holy Spirit?
While waiting for lunch, Peter was given a vision of a rooftop buffet complete with a tablecloth filled with unclean animals and birds. Three times he was told in this vision to get up and eat. God used these visions to confront Peter’s religious pride and bigotry against the Gentiles. Peter eventually understood this truth: “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him’ ” (Acts 10:34-35, NKJV).
With this background, let’s reflect on our story for lessons from Tyre and Sidon. Look again at Jesus and His interaction with the mother. What lessons did the disciples learn from this field trip that related also to Peter’s vision? How can we apply these to our lives today and to Christ’s last-day call to His mission to the cities? What biases prevent us from seeing the needs of urbanites? What opportunities has God provided to us in the cities—to expand our mission understanding, and caringly to confront our bigotry, nationalism, and spiritual pride?
Jesus patiently taught His disciples, who did not yet fully understand that God’s great plan of salvation was for the entire human family, not just one nation or rural ethnic group. The Holy Spirit can help us to overcome our prejudice and bias in order to complete our mission to the cities.
Read Galatians 2:11-13. What should this teach us about how hard it can be to be purged of the prejudices we have been taught since childhood?