In the beginning, he had spoken the truth that the gospel was for all. It seems, however, that the implications of this truth had not yet become clear to him. He was slow to understand what he ought to do.
Now may I ask why you sent for me?
Acts 10:29 NET
Now that the moment had arrived to put into practice the gospel for all nations, the Lord has to send him a vision, speak to him by means of a voice from heaven, and make him hear from his host how the Lord had given instructions to bring him here. Finally, he gets it:
Then Peter started speaking: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is welcomed before him.”
As in Paul’s conversion, this new understanding of Peter’s is told in the book of Acts three times: again, in chapter 11, when Peter defends his actions in Jerusalem, and in chapter 15, in the great meeting in Jerusalem about the issue of circumcision. The conversion of Cornelius represents, then, an important mark in the life of Peter and in the mission of the church.
Are we still slow for such an understanding to reach us, that the gospel is for all? Are we still making excuses that this person won’t want to hear, or for that person it’s best to wait for a better opportunity?
Or do we need, like Peter, a new conversion?
Father, open my eyes, to see my task of teaching the truth of the gospel to all, without distinction among people, with urgency and insistence. Because Jesus is coming. Amen.
Hold this thought: If the gospel is for all, I have much to say today.