In the early days of the church, the Jews lived very much in isolation. If you were a faithful Jew, you did not talk to people outside of the Jewish community. You did not associate with outsiders. You did not spend time with people who were not Jewish. About the only exception were the Romans – they occupied the land and you really did not have a choice.
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, those who carried on His work and message were good Jews. They too were chosen isolationists and only brought the message and teachings to their fellow Jews. Just prior to today’s passage, God had argued with Peter in a vision. God showed Peter a collection of all sorts of animals and told Peter to eat. According to Jewish customs, some of the animals were unclean and Peter refused to eat. Three times God said not to call unclean what God has made pure.
Next a servant of a Roman centurion appears looking for Peter. The Spirit tells Peter to go with these men, so he does. He goes but I bet there was some questioning in his head and some wrestling with what this vision was all about. While there Peter shares the story of Jesus and Cornelius’ family and friends are converted. The Holy Spirit descends on these people and they begin to speak in tongues and to worship. This is an ‘ah-ha’ moment for the early church – God is for ALL people. Suddenly the vision makes sense to Peter.
Have you ever had one of these ‘ah-ha’ moments? Has God placed someone in your path who you questioned as being worthy of you or your time, but in the end your time with “that person” was awesome and God worked mightily in the situation? He can and will do both anything and amazing things. Like Peter and many others, our role is to trust in the Spirit’s leading and to boldly step out there in faith. Happy stepping!!
Scripture reference: Acts 10: 44-48