“He told me, “Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God! Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore. So I sent for you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you.””
Cornelius was a good and faithful man. He regularly prayed and supported the poor even though he was a centurion, a commander in the Roman army. He commanded great authority but when Peter entered his house, Peter was more worried that he was a Gentile, rather than a commander of an army. “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you…..”(v28)
BUT God in His grace, uses the most wonderful ways to bring about His will in people’s lives. By using Peter to bring the gospel to Cornelius, Jesus showed that, like we learned yesterday, no-one is exempt from hearing and receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Moreover, Jesus, by saving a Roman army officer, the very same people group who crucified Him on the cross, to become the first Gentile Christian, shows us that His ultimate grace not only has the power to save but to restore and reconcile anyone to Him, regardless of their past.
Finally, by using Peter to share the Gospel message with Cornelius, Jesus demonstrated His personal love for every individual. He could have just used the angel that appeared to Cornelius, to share the Gospel with him, but He didn’t. He chose to make it personal. He chose to use Peter to show that His love knows no boundaries, is not subject or hindered by earthly authority, cultural or religious barrier, and is personal..
Today, Jesus wants to reach you too with His radical, cultural and boundary breaking love. His love knows no limits. You are included in His call to receive His love, and we, as receivers of His love, are also included to share the message of Jesus Christ to all too.