LIVE@5 – Friday, June 17, 2022
Acts 10:24–33 (NKJV)
24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?”Acts 10:24-33
30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”
This passage continues the story of Peter’s vision and his newfound openness to the salvation of the Gentiles. Peter was not necessarily prejudiced or discriminating. He was just a good Jewish man who felt that the law excluded Gentiles from the faith. The advent of Christ, however, opened the doors for anyone to receive salvation through the blood of Christ. Peter accepted this truth through the vision of the sheet with all kinds of animals, and he went to the home of a prominent Gentile, Cornelius, and the house was ready to hear the word.
There are two character profiles here. First, you see a man who is called to preach the gospel (Peter) who is willing to hear the voice of God calling him to an audience that was normally off limits to the grace of God, and Peter listens to God rather than the traditions of men. Not all tradition is bad, but some traditions get in the way of evangelism, healing, and discipleship. Peter did not allow tradition to get in the way of reaching out to lost souls with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The second character here is a man who was on the outside looking in. He was a Gentile in a world where Jews seemed to have the corner on who could come to God. Yet, he was not deterred, and sought God for himself. God blessed both of these men, and their obedience and tenacity brought them together for what would be a powerful encounter, as the reader will see in the next passage. Be open and receptive to what God is saying to you, even if it seems to go against conventional wisdom. Let the word of God speak to you. Let His Holy Spirit instruct you, then obey.