Today was the greatest day of my life. Even though I am a Roman centurion and not a Jew, I love the God of Abraham, and I longed to learn more about this Jesus whom the entire territory is talking about.
When the angel appeared to me and told me about a man named Simon Peter who was staying in Joppa, I hoped that this was the same Peter who was the great apostle of Jesus. I sent messengers to ask him to come here to Caesarea.
When he entered my house I was overcome. I fell to my knees, but he lifted me up and said, “I too am only a man.” So this was Peter. He possessed great power, and a quiet strength born of great suffering. I had prayed that the man whom the angel told me to summon was he. And now this legend, this man whose faith Jesus said he would build his church upon, was standing in my home.
And a Jew! Standing in the home of a Gentile! We were all in shock. As it turns out, he had just had a vision himself, just before my messengers arrived in Joppa. In his vision he saw animals of every kind, clean and unclean, and then God told him that all food was “clean,” and good to eat.
Everything we thought we knew about God has been turned upside down! From now on, the Jews don’t need to keep kosher dietary laws any more, and we Gentiles can be part of God’s salvation even though our men aren’t circumcised! Peter said, “I begin to see that God shows no partiality.”
And, one by one, we all began to see it too.
In what ways have you learned that God loves all people?
Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015