Our Bible passage today is a bit of a recap from yesterday, Acts Chapter 10 verses 44 to 48, thinking about what happened as Peter preached and explained the Gospel to Cornelius and his household and friends.
We read (v.44) that the Holy Spirit came on all who were hearing the message in an obvious and tangible way, particularly evidenced by them speaking in tongues and praising God (v.46), just like it was for the 120 of Jesus’ disciples on the day of Pentecost back at the beginning of Acts Ch.2.The Jewish background believers who had come with Peter from Joppa were astonished that the gift of the HS had been given to Gentiles (v.45)
So for Peter, the obvious next step was to baptise them all in the name of Jesus Christ (the sign of faith), because they had already been given the reality of the presence of God through the Holy Spirit (vs.47-48). We will see more of a detailed explanation of Peter’s thinking in tomorrow’s reading from the beginning of Chapter 11.
So here we see in this event 2 different expansions or extensions.
Firstly, we the fulfilment of Jesus’ words to his first disciples back at the beginning of the story , ‘You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts Ch.1 v.8). Here is the beginning of the “to the end of the earth” bit. Sometimes people call this occasion the “Gentile Pentecost” following on from the original Day of Pentecost in Acts Ch.2, and the “Samaritan Pentecost” in Acts Ch.8 vs.14-17.
Secondly, we see an expansion in the hearts and minds of the first disciples/apostles, who were gradually realising more and more that the Gospel going to the ends of the earth didn’t just mean those with a Jewish background in far-flung places believing that Jesus was the Messiah; but the Gospel of Jesus was also for those of non-Jewish background (Gentiles), ie people like you and me, PTL! More of this tomorrow.
In our prayers today do remember those who were used to see regularly at Here 4 You before it closed,- Tracey,- Melanie,- Chris,- Mikala & family