Our epistle this week is Acts 10:34-43.
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 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. You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 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. 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, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 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. 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. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Peter has learned that God loves and calls all people, not just the nation of Israel. He gives his testimony about Jesus to those gathered that they may know the Good News. This is a turning point in his faith and in the spread of the Gospel.
Earlier in Acts 2 we hear that Peter became a powerful and eloquent voice for Christ in Jerusalem. Here in Acts 10 he is called to see a Roman centurion and his family. Observant Jews did not associate with Gentiles, especially members of the Roman legion, but Paul obeys God’s command and visits. He finds a God-fearing group of people and later in the story, the Holy Spirit comes upon them and they are baptized in the name of Jesus.
Peter now sees that the gift of salvation is offered to all people, no matter what our nationality, location or social position. He travels to other Gentile communities and later writes letters encouraging these new communities of believers. He is blessed and a blessing through his discipleship, as we may be also.
Loving Lord, we are grateful to be called as part of Your saving work in the world. Help us to be the messengers of Your love to everyone. Amen.