Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Acts 10:1-16

At first glance, at least at my first glance, it would not appear that our reading for today has much to tell us. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, has a vision to send for Peter. Peter has a vision that would indicate that it is alright to eat almost any animal. This frees us from the Jewish law outlined in Leviticus 11.

Now, at least from my perspective, I am very happy that God gave Peter this vision as I enjoy many types of foods. But there has to be more to today's reading than just that. Of course there is much more.

Cornelius is an example of God's willingness to use extraordinary means to reach those who desire to know Him. This willingness is not limited to Jews, as Cornelius is clearly a gentile. This fact is one of the great turning points in the early church. Gentiles are to be admitted into fellowship with Christ too. This provides proof that God sent His Son into the world because He loved the entire world. Thus, Cornelius' sends for Peter so Peter can share the Gospel with Cornelius. Cornelius will then be able to have a greater relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

OK I see the message that Cornelius' vision is meant to convey, but what about Peter's vision? According to Jewish law, people who ate unclean, or forbidden, food where themselves unclean. Peter's vision was God's way of removing Peter's prejudices against Gentiles. God was telling Peter that he should not look upon Gentiles as inferior or as people God did not want to save. God was preparing Peter to share the Gospel with Cornelius and for his future work of sharing the Gospel with all people.

Today's reading has much to share with us.
God reaches those who earnestly want to know Him.
The Gospel is for all people.
There are people everywhere eager to receive the Gospel.
God knows the tasks that are before us and how to prepare us.

Wishing you much success in your walk with Christ,
Richard Leach

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