Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 30th August 2021: Peter and Cornelius: 3

Peter Acts 10 Mark: 8 Peter and Cornelius

Reading : Verses from Acts, Chapter 10

Peter

'Then Peter began to speak to them: 'I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ - he is Lord of all.... He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.'

While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers wo had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 'Can anyone withold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?' So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Thoughts

You might like to look up the previous two parts of the story (click on the "Peter and Cornelius" buttons above), as we come to its conclusion. We cannot underestimate the enormous change that Peter is undergoing in his thinking. He has been brought up to obey the Law of Moses, and to treat Gentiles at a distance. Indeed the theologian Barclay points out that if a Jew marries a Gentile, the community would hold a funeral for him. Yet here Peter, in response to a vision has travelled from Joppa to Caesarea, and in engaged in teaching this Roman family about Jesus..

Confirming the truth of his vision, the Holy Spirit descends on the whole group, and they begin to speak in tongues. This is a gift from God, that praises and glorifies God. We do not see this happening to many in the book of Acts, but it is important that it happens to this group of Gentiles, to confirm that Peter is right to take the Gospel of Christ to everyone. Notice that Peter comments that they have received the Holy Spirit, "just as we have".

God message and God's Spirit is for the whole world - to all who are open to his prompting, and ready to receive His word.


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
may we constantly remember
that You are the God of all the world
and all its people,
and that You call us
to spread Your message to everyone.
Amen.


Follow Up Thoughts

For a lovely video of the whole story of Peter and Cornelius look up the following:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nnCLsOT8PFA

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