Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church. Please feel free to follow along.
A couple of days ago we talked about the fact that every time God is ready to extend the kingdom to a new group of people he does something big. That is what today’s reading (Acts 10) is all about.
Last week we witnessed God extending the Kingdom to Samaritans and a Jew from Ethiopia. Today we see God extend the family of God to Gentiles. In the text Cornelius was called a “God-fearing” man. There are two types of people who come to Judaism at this time. One was a God-fearer and the other was a proselyte. A God-fearer was a person who bought into Judaism, lived by its teachings, but had not gone all the way. A proselyte bought in 100%. For males this meant going so far as to be circumcised. (Want an interesting discussion sometime, have a group of Jr. Church kids ask you what circumcision is. Then tell them to ask their parents, and then the parents come to you and ask you what it is. It happened to me once.) This step would have been major commitment for a grown man to go that far. Cornelius was a God-fearer, which left him 100% Gentile.
God is ready to show Peter that his church is for all nations, just not Jews and people closely related to Judaism. God sends a vision to Cornelius, God gives a tripped out vision to Peter, He uses Cornelius’ men to lead Peter back, and while Peter is talking He pours out the Holy Spirit. Immediately when that happened everyone got that God’s grace was not just for Jews but for all man.
Does God have to work in powerful ways to get you to see the full picture he has for your life? Sometimes he does. But I wander, if we were a little more in tune with God, would he have to work in such big ways? Or are his plans to big for us to even grasp at times? These are questions I may not have complete answers for.