Peter’s vision and its meaning

Posted by admin on 10 January 2021 in Acts, Leviticus, Mark, The Book of Romans |

Acts 10:9-16

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

14 ‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’

16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.


We studied ‘uncleanness’ and ‘cleanness’ last week. In addition to this, let us learn Peter’s vision to understand the issue better.

I. Peter’s Vision

To understand Acts 10:9-16, Acts 10:1-8 and Acts 10:17-48 should also be read. However, let us start from verse 9 to kick-start the study today.

In Peter's vision, a voice told him to get up, kill and eat unclean animals (Acts 10:11-13). Peter refused (Acts 10:14). The voice spoke, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ (Acts 10:15).

II. The Meaning of the Vision

In the Law, the Jews are not to eat unclean creatures but to eat clean ones (Leviticus 11:1-46).

First, the above vision does NOT abolish the Law written in Leviticus 11:1-46.

This vision was shown to Peter to let the Gentiles saved. The meaning of the vision is shown in Peter’s statement in Acts 10:28.

28 He said to them: ‘You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.

So, this vision is not asking us to eat unclean animals. The vision is asking us not to call anyone impure or unclean.

The Law does NOT say whether a person would become unclean if he/she touches live animals unclean to eat.

But the Law says a person becomes unclean till evening if he/she touches or picks up the carcass of any of them (Leviticus 11:26-28).

The Gentiles eat them in their ignorance. However, we should not consider them unclean because of their food (Acts 10:28, Romans 14:14, Mark 7:14-23).

‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ (Acts 10:15).

Therefore, we should evangelise them regardless of their food as God enables this.


[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

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