WHAT IS KEY TO THE GOSPEL?
When you grow up doing things a certain way or holding to certain beliefs, it can be hard to have those ideas challenged. Even as Christians there are many cultural expectations and beliefs we hold to dearly as if they are part of the gospel. Maybe it's expectations about what a Christian should wear, watch, listen to, how they should speak and act etc. The problem is, by holding to these, we run the risk of excluding people that God wants us to welcome.
Sometimes our dearly held convictions must be challenged. In Acts 10 we see God himself challenge the Apostle Peter's deeply held convictions. Peter believed strongly that believers in Jesus must follow the kosher food laws, this excluded many gentiles from the faith. God challenged him in a vision to not exclude the gentiles. Peter obeyed but as we see from Paul's letter to the Galatians, he still struggled with his convictions years later.
Jesus invites everyone to come to him. As Christians, we are challenged by this passage to reflect on what is central to the gospel and what beliefs and practices have we added. As Christians, we should strive to be welcoming and inclusive and sometimes the barriers we put up to faith must come down. Like with Peter, it won't be easy and we may wrestle these issues, but we must wrestle with them for the sake of the gospel.
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