It was an amazing revelation to Peter…
‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’
He was in Joppa and seeking the Lord, and God shows Peter that all things are clean. This is, by the way, no new revelation. Jesus himself said:
And he [Jesus] called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” ( Thus he declared all foods clean.)
This is the most explicit accounting of Jesus’ teaching that all foods are clean. It makes since because Mark is the gospel associated with the mission of the Apostle Peter, the same Peter who saw the vision of all things being clean.
But what God revealed to Peter in terms of food was a metaphor for what he was doing with people, no people are unclean because of there race.
When Peter recounts the story of going to Cornelius’ house, he recalls how this Gentile man, formerly thought to be ritually unclean, had an angel from God in his home. The angel commanded him to send men to Joppa to call for Peter (cf. Acts 11:13), and it was just at the time of Peter’s vision about food that they showed up… not a coincidence.
What if Peter had gone with tradition? What if Peter had “played it safe” and not gone to the places where “good people” don’t go? But he did!
God calls us to go to those on the “fringe” of society, those outside our circle of “acceptable” or “respectable.” We’re not charged to compromise in our walk (i.e. men, don’t go to strip-clubs to witness), but we are charged to go where God leads us, with no reservations. He will lead you, he will go before you, he will place his angels ahead of your trip to prepare the way, trust him.
Share the gospel wherever He leads… Dare to tred where angels go before you!