Prejudice pure and simple, there is no other way to describe it. It may be dressed up in religious clothes but it was the misinterpretation that lead to prejudice, fear and rude behaviour. How do you break something so ingrained in the person, especially since they believe (falsely) that it is a God given way of behaving. Well apparently in Peter's case Jesus good example was not enough it took an act of God to break that habit.
When we look at our flaws or poor judgements or incorrect mindset it's just not enough sometimes to see the truth. Sometimes it takes an act of God to break a habit of a lifetime. Peter had spent 3 years with Jesus travelling everywhere, seeing the people he spoke to, healed and lives he touched. Peter didn't just see Jesus with nice good law abiding Jewish people. It was quite the opposite Peter saw Jesus with all the people that were considered outcasts but the lesson didn't seem to sink in. So God had to bring the lesson to him in a real way,
Now many people jump on the band wagon talking about well that does away with the food laws then. Or that does away with the Old Testament structured legal system let's just be free and do what we like. The context of that story doesn't seem to indicate that at all. In fact the outcome of the story is that Peter goes into the house of Cornelius no hesitation or problem. This move would have been quite a huge step for Peter and I can only imagine it would be like going to the house of the person you feel has wronged you the most in the world walking in and sitting down for a cup of tea. Something I am not sure I could do. In fact in a week I might have to do something similar and let me be real there is no guarantee that I can be like Peter and just do the will of God no fussing. In fact there might be kicking and screaming.
So what do I take from today's reading well God did not intend for prejudice. He does not condone prejudice and he will be with us to overcome what is a negative action against others. Also don't think so highly of yourself that you are soaring above other people. Truth is we are all sons and daughters of the King therefore we should all have confidence in our position in Him. Do not berate someone else's position it's not yours to do that with. How different would the church be if they followed that and treated everyone equally? It was a big lesson for Peter and he struggled with it over and over but for us today are we struggling with it but mooching forward or are we happy to treat others badly because of our own prejudices? Today I will take a small step forward join me?