44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues o and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
11:1The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”
4 Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’
8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
9 “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. 
What’s striking to me in today’s passage is the criticism that Peter received upon his return to Jerusalem. The criticism came not from unbelievers, nor from the Sanhedrin, but rather from fellow believers. They criticized him because he had violated a tradition of their Jewish culture in entering the house of a Gentile and eating with them.
It’s rather striking because in their focus on the broken tradition, they were missing one of the most significant events in biblical history, the beginning of the intentional mission to the Gentiles. This event, totally orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, is in direct fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through his family (Genesis 12:1-3), as well as Jesus’ directive to make disciples of the nations (Matthew 28:18-20). By the way, we shouldn’t think of the word “nations” here in a political sense. It simply means non-believers, Gentiles, unreached people, the unsaved.
So on the one hand, God had made a major move through Cornelius and Peter in pushing the mission forward. On the other hand there was a handful of under-discipled disciples who were fixed on a tradition. And, I might add, a tradition that was done away with because of the gospel.
One of the sources of confrontation and discord within churches and among believers is losing sight of the mission. The most important thing is the mission, and keeping the main thing the main thing. I’m not saying that tradition has no value. It does, especially as a teaching tool, and in reminding us of important truths and values. But it can never trump the mission.
My prayer is that the Holy Spirit lead me always to keep the main thing the main thing, to keep my eyes on the mission that God has called His church to embrace. I pray that I would let nothing get in the way of that pursuit, whether it’s personal preferences, traditions, criticism, or anything else.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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 The New International Version. 2011 (Ac 10:44–11:10). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.