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.”
Acts 10:34-35

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.

5 thoughts on “He finally gets it

  1. Morning Randal,

    Although I knew it, I never did really catch the point before that Peter’s experience with Cornelius is recorded 3x like Paul’s with Jesus. Excellent thought. You helped me get something that I think is worth getting there!

    Have a great day, brother.

  2. I’m convinced the best thing a minister of a congregation can do – that he must do – is seek to convert people, and impress upon the converted, as quickly as possible, their need to reach others with the gospel. Once people “settle in,” passion dwindles, and urgency is lost. Your prayer and “thought,” refueled me!

  3. You’re right on that one. After the initial excitement, if one doesn’t get in the habit of sharing the gospel, non-evangelism becomes the norm, especially since that is the norm in many places.

What do you think?