By Brooke Holt
“And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:42-43
Most scholars believe the Jewish men of Jesus’ day (and hundreds of years before) began their mornings with this simple prayer: Thank you God that I am not a Gentile, slave, or a woman. Ouch! Those are hard words to write and probably equally hard to read. Thankfully, Jesus was not a proponent of such a prayer. In fact, Jesus brought about a new way - a way that included Gentiles, slaves, and women.
As Peter preached to the crowd gathered at Cornelius home, he shared the good news that all who believe in Jesus receive forgiveness of sins. The salvation of God expanded through Jesus. Jesus did not fear the Gentile area, as evidenced by his trip through Samaria, where he encountered the Samaritan woman. Jesus broke all societal norms by inviting women to follow him. In fact, it was a woman who first encountered the risen Lord. Mary was entrusted with the glorious revelation that Jesus was alive, and she was sent out to tell the other disciples. And Jesus certainly wasn’t put off by slaves. As Paul wrote to the Philippians, Jesus stripped himself of his divine glory and took on the form of a servant (see Philippians 2:6-7).
Earthly designations and differentiations did not matter to Jesus. What mattered was a heart ready to receive the Gospel. The people gathered at Cornelius’ house that today were ready and eager to hear the word of the Lord through Peter. Right after Peter proclaimed the Gospel to them, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. These Gentiles began speaking in tongues and praising God.
Truly, God showed no partiality! Now, Peter and those who had traveled with him were called to do the same thing. Through the Gospel presentation to open hearts, many came to faith in Christ that day. Peter had them all baptized and then stayed among them to continue preaching and teaching for many days (see Acts 10:47-48).
The prophet Joel spoke of this day, “And it shall come pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young man shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit” (Joel 2:28-29).
Thank God, Jesus ushered us into this new day!
The Gospel message is for all who believe in him and receive the forgiveness of their sins. This Gospel message is meant to restore people to God and to each other. Are you allowing the Gospel to break down the barriers in your life? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
Comments will be approved before showing up.