Our story of Peter and Cornelius and the first real sharing of the Gospel with Gentiles continues with the 3rd episode, our Bible passage being Acts Chapter 10 verses 23b-33.
We have seen that the Lord separately has been preparing Cornelius to receive something more, and broadening Peter’s heart and mind to understand that the Gospel, the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ needs to go even wider, and now these 2 men meet.
Peter and his accompanying team set out from Joppa with the delegation from Cornelius to go to Caesarea, a journey of about 30 miles, so taking over a day to get there (vs.23-24).Cornelius has gathered a group of relatives and close friends together, but it seems to me that both sides are not quite sure exactly what to expect. Cornelius falls at Peter’s feet in reverence, but Peter doesn’t want to be treated as anyone special or even divine (v.26).Peter finds a large crowd waiting for him, and explains that what he is doing is against the Jewish law to visit Gentiles, but God has broadened his understanding/given him permission to come and visit.Cornelius’ delegation has already explained to Peter what has happened (v.22), but Peter wants to hear it from the horse’s mouth (so to speak), and so Cornelius explains again what had happened to him (vs.29-32).
And he ends with a wonderful statement of expectation (v.33) giving Peter an absolutely open door to speak into the situation, ‘Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.’ I wonder whether we might echo such words on a Sunday morning, and what a responsibility to the preacher too!!
We will look at what Peter actually said and what happened tomorrow…
In our prayers today would you please remember the Leadership Council meeting this evening, and also meetings in the day to try and get a better handle on the way forward with our building move in terms of legalities and practicalities.