Read Acts 10:1-48
I imagine the anticipation was no less than pure excitement mixed with utter anxiety about exactly how God could bring a Jewish man into a Roman home and call it good.
It turned out to be quite the party, too. A party that God had planned long before He spoke to Cornelius in a vision. One that had Simon Peter a bit surprised, to say the least.
What began as a strange but divinely-appointed meeting between Jews and Gentiles ended with a Spirit-inspired worship service, baptism and all. As we read this story, we can almost see Peter’s mind put the pieces together as the story line of God’s plot takes a different turn than what Peter had previously played out. Man’s rescue was meant for all of mankind, not just the children of Israel.
Peter had heard it before. Straight from the mouth of Jesus, no less. (See Acts 1:8 and Mt. 28:18-20.) But he didn’t quite understand until that day when God invited him to the house of a Gentile and showed up there Himself.
That’s when Peter finally got it.
I now realize that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. (v35)
Apparently, when Jesus told Peter and the other disciples to be His
witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth, (Acts 1:8)
he pictured something entirely different. Maybe he thought Jesus referred to his own countrymen scattered throughout the world. But the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ — the salvation that He brought with His death and life — is truth for every person.
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 3:6)
This is HIS story: man’s rescue, all-inclusive. No person or group of people exists who miss the boundaries of HIS story, only those who choose to be left out by refusing to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. (See John 3:18)
Peter believed as did Cornelius. Jew and Gentile alike. Same goes for men, women, boys, girls, Americans, Libyans, smokers, alcoholics . . . and the list goes on. The only line God draws is the one between those who believe on His name and those who don’t.
Are there certain people you find it difficult to see as eligible for God’s gift of real life through Jesus Christ? Are there prejudices that keep you from sharing the truth of Jesus Christ with some? If so, you know how Peter felt. So why not go further and experience what he did by reaching out to one of those people and sharing HIS story?