Today’s Reading: Acts 9-10
Today’s Reflection: Acts 10:28
And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
The story told in Acts 10 is one of the most important in the entire bible. Before Adam and Eve had even sinned God had a plan to offer salvation to all mankind. One of the consequences of sin has been strife between people. Because of this and our greedy nature, we tend to look at all gifts as possessions to be controlled rather than gifts to be shared. Even salvation. Much of the history of religion has been one of declaring that God is for us, and against those not of us.
Despite this God has repeated his refrain that His salvation is not just for a chosen few, but for all people. To Abraham:
Genesis 22:17-18 – 17) I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18) and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
Through King Solomon:
2 Chronicles 6:32-33 – 32) “Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for the sake of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, 33) hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Despite these words, Jesus ministry to non-Jews, and His instructions to take the Gospel to the entire world, the Apostles still did not understand this. They continued to share the Gospel among their Jewish brethren exclusively, until Peter’s dream and his encounter with Cornelius. Finally understanding that God sought everyone who was willing to listen and believe in Him, Peter went and preached to the Gentiles. Then he and the other apostles witnessed this truth for themselves:
Acts 10:44-48 – 44) While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45) And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46) For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47) “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48) And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
Perhaps the most important thing we can know about the work of the Gospel is that the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ is a message for everyone. Not just for those we think are interested. It’s for everyone. Not just for those we are comfortable speaking to. It’s for everyone. Not just for those we feel are worthy. It’s for everyone. Not just for people we like, or agree with, or see eye to eye with. It’s for everyone. There are a lot of lost people out there looking for the light. Searching for the truth that they will only find in Jesus. The question is, are we willing to take that light to them?
John 10:16 – And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.