|Click here for the backstory.|
Just like humans today, the disciples were prejudice. It seems they thought they had it all figure out. They knew the kinds of people who were acceptable for God’s grace and mercy. They knew the kinds of people the Holy Spirit would move through and in.
Cornelius did not measure up. He was a soldier and a Gentile. Yet, God called Peter to share his message with Cornelius.
From his childhood, Peter had been taught what was clean and unclean to eat. This is why the vision God gave Peter was a little disconcerting to Peter. Moments after his vision, Peter was invited to go to Cornelius’ home. Not only was he going to enter the home and share fellowship with an “unclean” person, he was also called to preach the gospel and offer the grace of Jesus.
Cornelius wasn’t the only one who was going to have his world rocked.
Many of the believers in the early church believed God’s grace was only big enough for them. Unfortunately this is an issue among today’s believers too. We listen to Amazing Grace and sing about being saved wretches and, yet, when faced with those who are a different kind of wretched, we turn our backs (or maybe our noses).
It was time for Peter to get a bigger vision of God’s grace, as well as an expanded heart. Through Peter’s encounter with Cornelius, it became clear that no one is beyond God’s grace, regardless of position or race. Jesus loves everyone and the Holy Spirit can move through anyone who accepts the Savior who ransomed each of us.
I’ve been listening to Chris Tomlin’s version of Amazing Grace every morning and night. I thought you might enjoy it too.