To show the Gentile church that their existence is a work of God! This was a significant step on the journey to the fulfillment of .
Christianity is not a threat to the empire. You can be both a Christian and still a good Roman.
Cornelius - hungry for God
Peter - hungry for food. What led him to become hungry?
3 times Peter needed to be shown this revelation. But once he got it, he obeyed immediately. Is there something in your understanding that God is speaking to you about? Has he repeatedly shown you something. Have you got? If you have, have you responded?
God responds to those who:
seek him - pray
fear him - care for the poor
God uses many means:
The angel sent them (v5), Cornelius sends them (v8 & 22), but ultimately the Holy Spirit sent them (v20)
What a great example. Have you got something important you want your family and friends to hear, or to see? Invite them over, and call after praying, ask someone to come over and share the gospel with them.
“You are well aware that it is AGAINST OUR LAW for a Jew to ASSOCIATE with or VISIT a Gentile.” v28
This was not unlawful according to the OT, but according to the traditions of the elders that had been added to God’s law, making it virtually impossible to associate with Gentiles without becoming ritually unclean.
But GOD has shown me that I should not call ANYTHING (this is actually ANYONE). I should not call anyONE, ANY PERSON impure or unclean” v28
This is huge for Peter. It’s amazing how embedded certain harmful cultural practices and prejudices can become when their embedded into our thinking from birth until adulthood. They’d seen in Jesus his compassion on all people, the Samaritan woman, the Roman centurion, whose son he had made well, the Gentiles he loved and accepted, and he’d been told by Jesus that he would be his witness to the ends of the earth, but to believe that he was to be a witness to all kinds of people throughout the earth was mind-blowing! Didn’t people have to become like us before they were acceptable to God? Didn’t people have to become like us, to dress like we do, to eat like we do, to be circumcised in the flesh like we are, to be part of God’s family and have his blessing and power and Holy Spirit?
They had positioned themselves in total humility to receive all that God had to say to them!!
In what sense were they in the presence of God?
Did he believe God was truly present?
He was soon to discover HE WAS!!!
Peter preaches THE MESSAGE v 36
what is THE MESSAGE?