In today’s reading, we learn that God placed a veil between Himself and his people. Only Moses could approach God. The Tabernacle and the Temple contained a veil to separate the resting place of God from the people. In Luke, we see that Jesus removes the veil.
Read my earlier comments on this theme here.
The daily readings for Saturday of this week include Luke 10:21-24. Here is 21-22.
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, ESV I thank you for hiding these things from the clever and the intelligent and for showing them to mere children! Phillips Yes, Father, I thank you that it pleased you to do this. CJB Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son. NJB The Son can introduce the Father to anyone he wants to. MSG
I was hung up on the last Greek word in this text, apokalupto, the one every text on my list translated as reveal, as in, those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. NIV Checking Strong’s, I found that the first part of the word, apo, means separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal. The second part, kalupto, means cover, hide.
What is most interesting is that the two in combination mean to reverse the cover.
God, through His Son, has chosen to uncover Himself and has done it by coming to us as a human so we could see how He meant for us to live life.
After Pentecost, the disciples, all hundred plus, continued to spread Jesus’ Good News. In three of the daily readings for this week, Acts 10:1-33, we see Peter learning a powerful lesson about the extent of reversing the cover. In a trance, he was told to eat unclean animals.
But first, we should take note of Acts 9:44. Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon. NIV
Joppa was a major port city for international trade. Jews living there were mostly involved in that trade, so came into regular contact with unclean gentiles. Jerusalem looked down on those Jews, even though most of them made regular trips to Jerusalem and the Temple for cleansing rituals. Peter had lived and worked in Capernaum, another place infested with gentiles, so Joppa probably didn’t bother Peter too much.
However, in Joppa, Peter lived in the home of Simon, the tanner. For Jews, there was a hierarchy of the less clean Jews. At the bottom were shepherds and tanners. A righteous Jew would much rather touch a gentile than a tanner. We don’t even know if Simon was a Jew, though the name would suggest he was (the same as Peter’s Jewish name).
It is important to know how reversed the cover was for Peter before the trance. We sometimes have Peter portrayed as a hard-shelled Jew, but he was open to people no Pharisee would get within speaking distance of.
Still, God needed to peel away the last of the curtain. Peter refused the command to eat, but God said, Stop treating as unclean what God has made clean. CJB Peter could be obtuse at times, but he generally figured it out eventually. At the end of this story, Peter was glad to enter the home of the Centurion Cornelius, a Roman and no doubt one who ate pork.
What is the reversing message for us?
God calls us to the unclean of today. To women who have abortions, AIDS carriers, homosexuals, illegal aliens, legal aliens, even politicians. God loves every human on earth. None of us is superior to anyone else. You may want to build a wall to keep the unclean out of the country, but God wants an open border.
Love is the hard choice.
Be righteous and do good.