Would we believe Peter today? What if Peter today were to recount a vision from God that changed dramatically a defining practice of our faith? The dietary laws of Moses were no small thing for one born Jewish to disregard. The challenge for Peter can be seen in his own “flip-flop”, to coin a modern day political term. His position changed on the issue. He had been an observant Jew, but now, things are different. Why?
Put simply, it is all because of Jesus. Peter is not swayed by an intellectual argument, nor is he convinced by another apostle. In fact, the Apostle Paul more than once argues with him. It is because of his relationship with Jesus that things can change. Jesus too made it a point to stress the reason for the Law. Paul, in his writings, reminds us that the Law is not the end. It never was. It was a means. A way to enter into a relationship with the Lord.
Such is at the core of what Peter comes to believe today. It is because he believes in Jesus, and more importantly, has a personal relationship, and multiple experiences of and with Jesus, that Peter is able to come to this belief with confidence. It is important to note that Peter has relationship and experience not only with the Risen Christ, but also with Christ while he was on earth. In fact, it is in recalling one such experience that helps Peter to trust his vision of the Lord.