Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
Acts 10:23-24 (NIV)
Read: Acts 10
Consider: At first Peter was reluctant to share the good news outside the Jewish community. His upbringing and religious teaching taught him that salvation was for the Jews. However, God had other ideas and the incident recorded in Acts 10 shows us that the gospel message should not be restricted to those we think are worthy enough to hear it.
Two things were against Cornelius; he was a Gentile and a Roman centurion (part of the occupying army). Either one of these would have prevented any social interaction between Peter and Cornelius. Yet God had a plan – one that involved both Peter and Cornelius. Peter had to learn that God’s message is for all to hear, while Cornelius learned that God would pour out his Holy Spirit on whomever he chooses.
Read again what it says in Acts 10: Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends … ‘So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us’. (Acts 10:23-24, 33). Notice that while Cornelius wanted to hear God’s message himself, he invited his relatives and close friends to also hear the good news. How willing are you to openly share the good news with those closest to you? If not, what prevents you from doing so?
What can we learn from Peter’s experience in this instance? The main thing must be that we should not let our prejudices and preconceived ideas decide for us who is worthy of receiving the good news of the gospel. If the message is open to all to hear, then we should share it whenever possible and with whomever we are with. It is God’s Holy Spirit who opens people’s hearts and minds to accept Jesus as their Saviour.
Pray: Father, give us a heart that is willing to share the good news of the gospel with others without favour. It is such good news that we cannot keep it to ourselves. May we also have a burden for our relatives and close friends, so that we are willing to boldly speak to them about you. Amen