Peter’s eyes were opened by a vision from heaven to see a glimpse into the heart of the Father. Even though Peter thought the Gentiles were unclean and unworthy of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, God showed him otherwise. Not just once, but three times, the vision was put before him. God clearly said, “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” At first, Peter was unsure what the vision meant, because it was relating to different types of food. But soon after, three men sent from Cornelius came looking for Peter, and the Holy Spirit told Peter to go with them. This is the great adventure Peter was embarking on to leave the 99 (his Jewish people with whom he was comfortable) to go out and reach the one, Cornelius.
Upon arriving, Cornelius bowed down before Peter, and I love Peter’s response! He said, “Stand up, I’m a human being just like you!” This shows a heart of humility, a heart that may have struggled with thinking less of others before, but now saw the truth that “God shows no favoritism, and that He accepts those from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.” (Acts 10:34-35) In this heart of humility and obedience, Peter was able to preach the gospel to Cornelius and his family and close friends too. As he shared about Jesus’ death and resurrection and the forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening. Peter’s Jewish friends were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles. It must have been easy for them to think that if you don’t follow all the rules of the Jewish law, then you can’t receive salvation, but God’s Spirit was there to reveal the truth.
I am so thankful that God extends salvation to us, and I am encouraged by Peter’s mission to reach out to the one, even when he previously considered him unworthy. Let’s pray together that we would be open to the ones God has for us to reach. No matter what WE think of them, the one is worth it.
Lord, I thank You for opening my eyes to Your truth and how You see people. Forgive me for every time I’ve looked down upon someone because they did not follow the rules I was taught. Instill in me a desire to reach out to the one You put on my heart, and to be humble and obedient in my adventure to share Christ with them. May I always share the truth in love and be effective in leading others to You and Your great love for them.
In Jesus' name, Amen
Whom do I tend to look down upon?
What does God think of them?
How can I reach out to them?