Not So, Lord

“But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” (Acts 10:14)

This response of Peter to the Lord’s command is a self-contradiction. How could He be Peter’s Lord if Peter felt free to disobey His command?

The doctrine and practice of the Lordship of Christ have always been difficult and controversial. Many Christians who have called Him their Savior and Lord nevertheless often feel free to question or disregard His Word. There may be legitimate discussion concerning interpretation of the Word, but there is never justification for questioning its authority, regardless of the pretenses of modern intellectuals or the pressures of public opinion. As the Lord Jesus Christ rebukingly asked, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

There was an earlier occasion when Peter revealed this same inconsistency. When Christ told of His imminent crucifixion, Peter “began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee” (Matthew 16:22). The Lord, therefore, had to rebuke Peter. It was not Peter’s prerogative, nor is it ours, to question the Word of the Lord, even when we don’t yet understand it.

That kind of attitude can, under certain circumstances, have deadly and eternal consequences. Jesus warned those who would profess His Lordship without its reality: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord. . . . And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).

Peter learned this lesson and was soon able to confess unreservedly concerning Christ that “he is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36). We who “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” for salvation (Acts 16:31) certainly should seek to believe and obey His Word in all things. HMM

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