As Jesus selected His Apostles, He chose Peter very early. Throughout the ministry, Peter both blessed Jesus with his loyalty and devotion, and, he frustrated Jesus with his impulsiveness and his simplicity. But, from the start, it was always Peter that was 1st out of the gate and all in for every task. Jesus needed a man like Peter to march forward into the battle without regard to the outcome. So, Peter marched forward into the home of Cornelius. He preached the Gospel to the man, Cornelius’s family, friends, and close associates. They were saved, baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter then returned to Jerusalem to give an account for what had happened. It is important to note that Jewish Law prevented such contact with gentiles. Good Jewish folks were not supposed to associate with such people; much less help them to join the family of God.
Lest one forget, however, that was not God’s plan. He built the nation of Israel to be His nation–a nation of priests. The Father’s motive was always to restore the entire world back to fellowship with Him. The Lord wanted all to know and have a personal relationship with Him. The men in Jerusalem came to the meeting with Peter that day, to chastise Peter and possibly punish Him. Yet, after hearing how God Himself called Peter to make the journey and preach the Gospel, there was only one step to take. The Church would now carry the Gospel to the very ends of the earth. This was and Is God’s mission until Christ’s return.
For the Apostles, that meeting was mind-blowing. It set the marching orders for the leadership to change their paradigm from a national relationship with God for the Jews; to a personal one for everybody who would accept the gospel. We are the beneficiaries of that meeting, and, as we hear of mission efforts across the globe, we can point to this event as the catalyst for the movement. Peter was the man and Jesus was the great gift to reunite all sinful people with a Holy God. We like Peter need to trust God and share the Gospel with whomever God sets before us. We need not make any distinction–because God did not!
God Bless You
Now the apostles and the brothers[a] who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party[b] criticized him, saying, 3 “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” 4 But Peter began and explained it to them in order: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. 6 Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ 10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”