Tag: Peter’s hard head

Gentile Pentecost!

Scripture reading for November 10th: Acts 10-12

Peter was the head of the church at Jerusalem and leader of the original band of Apostles.   He was a devout Jew before becoming a disciple of Jesus.  It has been said that old habits die hard, and Peter was resistant to breaking out of the Jewish way of thinking.  Acts records how God helped Peter to overcome his strict religious training.

Peter was praying about noon on the roof of a friend’s house where he was staying in Joppa.  He became hungry, probably smelling the food being prepared downstairs.  He fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and a something like a large sheet being let down to earth containing all kinds of four-footed animals, reptiles and birds.  A voice spoke to Peter, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied.  “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” “The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10:13-15)  This vision happened three times before the sheet disappeared back into heaven!   Peter must have had a hard head!

As Peter was pondering what this meant, men were coming from Cornelius, a Roman centurion, to bring Peter to his house to share about Christ!  The Spirit spoke to Peter once again, “Simon, three men are looking for you.  So get up and go downstairs.  Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” (Acts 10:19-20)  Peter was obedient and went with these men, contrary to his strict Jewish training to say away from Gentiles!

Upon arrival at the house of Cornelius, Peter found Cornelius and he gathered a number of his relatives to hear what Peter had to say.  Peter preached about Jesus Christ, his miraculous life, His death on a cross, and His amazing resurrection from the dead.  He called these Gentiles to faith and repentance for the forgiveness of their sins.  As he preached, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message and they began to speak in tongues and praise God.  (Acts 10:38-46)  They were all baptized in water and Peter taught them for a few days!

God has no favorites!  We must break down walls of prejudice and religious tradition to follow the Holy Spirit.  God works with us and His work will be done!  Like Peter, even slow learners can change!

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