At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants.
Chapter 10 is dubbed in some translations as ‘The First Fruits of the Gentiles’. It is in this chapter that we witness an entirely new phase of the Christian Church, the “opening of the door of faith to the Gentiles (you and me – unless you are from Jewish descent)”. The significance behind these verses reveals the recognition of Gentiles in terms of perfect equality with the Jews; it’s discipleship without the necessity of circumcision. It’s also interesting to note the main apostle Cornelius was asked to invite to his house was Peter. His main target audience was specifically those of the ‘circumcision’. But in this chapter God is even stretching Peter’s faith from a cultural and religious point of view by revealing to him (see tomorrow’s devotions) that the gospel is for Cornelius – a gentile too (Con).
Thoughts for the day
- Do you sometimes find yourself hesitant, either because of logic, cultural traditions, and or social status, to share the gospel with a certain people/s and or a group?
- How is God stretching or challenging your faith these days?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Identify anything that is making you weary or burdened and give it back to God.