BIBLE READING: ACTS 10
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
There was a time when Peter believed that Jesus had only come to save the chosen people, the Jews. In this passage, a Gentile named Cornelius had been on quite a journey with God. He was a devout man, he was a giving man, and he was a praying man. God sent an angel to give him instructions to go to the house of Peter. After a journey he came to the house and after a series of events Peter was amazed when the Holy Spirit fell upon a Gentile. This continued to change Peter, because he realized if God will pour His Spirit upon anyone that believes, then anyone can be a believer and any believer can be baptized. And that means that Christ loved and died for everyone.
We are all aware that there can be racial, social, and geographical bias in our world and in our churches. That doesn’t make it right. In its roots, it is very hypocritical, because if certain people don’t deserve certain things, then Gentiles don’t deserve Christ. But Christ died for everyone, Jew and Gentile. How could a gospel be preached that is only to certain people? That would pretty much make it not the “gospel”. That would not be “good news” if there were some who could not access it. What kind of God would that portray? You and I need to see people the way that Jesus sees people. That is without color, without race, without barriers, and maybe without Christ. People need the Lord, and we need to understand that all people need the Lord.
How powerful it must have been when Peter realized how wrong he had been. He was not trying to be mean, but he was just following a tradition that was passed down, but a wrong tradition. There are traditions and there is truth, and sometimes they are not the same. Always follow truth, not tradition. Here is what Peter said:
* 34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.