"The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 'Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.' But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD" (Jonah 1:1-3, NIV).
While reading that passage tonight, it occurred to me that another missionary to non-Jewish people faced his bigotry at Joppa also. Unlike Jonah, the apostle Peter did not run away from the opportunity to bring God's message to the Gentiles (see Acts 10). From Joppa, Jonah fled from God and his mission to save his enemies. From Joppa, Peter embraced God's vision to bring his enemies into the kingdom of Christ.
We must learn the lessons of Jonah and Peter. We need to see people as God sees them. People who are very different from us share one thing in common with us: we all need Christ.