There are exclusive clubs that I can belong to that will keep certain people out of the club and certain people in the club. I was rejected from a forum for sign-making because I didn’t do the specific work that the forum represents in my everyday life. Exclusion is pretty much part of our culture. There are times when it’s simply out of place and wrong. Discrimination becomes a hateful and very unhealthy type of exclusion.
The Jewish people were the first to have Jesus, because He was Jewish. The Lord makes it clear to Peter in a vision that he shouldn’t call anything or anyone that God made unclean. I thought it was a bit funny that the Lord gave Peter this vision 3 times! I think it was a matter of importance and the Lord wanted to make sure it was crystal clear. Peter goes to the home of Cornelius, the centurion and speaks to them about Jesus. Check this out…34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. 39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:34-43 NIV)
I love the scene and the setting and I love how Peter just gets right to the point of Who Jesus is and what He’s done here. He makes it clear that forgiveness is through the name of Jesus. He gives them the gospel flat out and then baptizes everyone there!
At the heart of the matter – Jesus came and brought hope to every man and every nation. It doesn’t matter what country people are from, or what language they speak – the gospel message is the same – Jesus came to save lost people even before they knew they were lost. This situation with Peter and Cornelius gives me such encouragement and hope. The message is clear – Jesus is the Way!Pressing On! Dwayne