A Short Meditation on Meat

November 23, 2023 at 12:13 PM

     Meat. Some of us like meat a lot. Some of us, not so much. Some of us are indifferent towards meat.

     But perhaps not so many of us would see the need to spill ink over meat (save for nutrition and dieting, about which this article will not talk)?

     Well, meat, as you might imagine, is very significant in Scripture. Different meats show up often, from Genesis (see Gen. 18:7) right through to Revelation (see Rev. 19:21). Here, however, I want to focus on one particular instance of meat in Scripture and apply it to our own lives: Acts 10:1-16.

     In this text, Peter has a vision of a number of different animals (that makes for many different meats!) descending from heaven on a sheet. Peter is commanded to kill and eat (Acts 10:13-16). The significance of this is that Peter is commanded to eat unclean animals! Isn’t this “OFF LIMITS” for the Jew?

     Well, the Lord had now opened up all meats to be eaten. Why? Was this a whim?

     Not at all. Peter clarifies: “God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean,” (Acts 10:28). God was using the freedom of eating any type of meat to illustrate that the disciples now should not call any person—i.e., any Gentile—unclean. Now, “to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life,” (Acts 11:18).

     That ought to be one of the most joyous truths for us. We are Gentiles! We should be thankful that we, too, have been granted repentance and, consequently, eternal life! This is only by God’s mercy. And this was demonstrated by a sheet full of meat.

     Dear Gentile Christian, the next time you go to eat meat, especially the meat that was once unclean, such as pork or bacon, be reminded that this meat was used in Acts 10 to point the disciples to the fact that you are no longer unclean. God has granted you the repentance that leads to life. Let this inform your prayer before the meal, your conversation during it, and your thoughts after it!

     So, let’s digest these meaty thoughts, these rich thoughts of God instigated by eating meat!