Search This Blog

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Day 322: The first Gentile converts

Who are the chosen people:? Everyone!
Aeneas is healed
Acts 9:32-35
Dorcas is raised to life
Acts 9:36-43
Cornelius sends for Peter
Acts 10:1-8
Peter’s vision
Acts 10: 9-18
He goes to Cornelius
Acts 10:19-33
Peter preaches the gospel
Acts 10:36-43
Gentiles receive the Holy Spirit and are baptised
Acts 10:44-48
The apostles contend with Peter
Acts 11:1-3
Peter’s defence
Acts 11:4-18

Today is the moment when the new movement of God bursts the banks of Judaism and floods out into the Gentile world. It’s hard to over state how significant this is. Right back to Abraham, and his calling by God, which I read back on 12th January, God has been working through one family, one tribe, one nation. There was always the promise that through them, everyone else would be blessed, but it has seldom come even close to a reality.
But after two lovely little healing miracles attributed to Peter, the man himself is dozing off, while waiting for his lunch. God sends him a dream which challenges his Jewish prejudices, and the next thing is that there’s a knock at the door with messengers from  a Roman.
Peter, his mind open to something new, accepts the invitation and goes to visit Cornelius. When he arrives, Cornelius of course comes out to him. That’s what Romans had to do if they wanted to speak to Jews. Even Pontius Pilate did it. Jews wouldn’t come under your roof. They would be defiled. But Peter, with a new confidence, walks right in.
He walks in to God’s new world. There in front of him is a group of Cornelius’ friends, all Gentiles, all eager to discover God for themselves. Peter begins to tell them about Jesus, and his sermon is interrupted by the Holy Spirit falling on the assembly. That’s all the proof he needs, and everyone is promptly baptised into the new faith.
But there’s trouble back home. The rest of the Christians haven’t made the journey that Peter has made, and they think he’s off his rocker. he has to tell them the whole story. (It’s an interesting thing about Acts - the really key moments are told and retold. We get to hear Peter’s dream twice, and Saul’s conversion three times).
Everyone is convinced, and praises God saying “even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”  But there will be more battles to come over this issue.

No comments:

Post a Comment