It’s interesting the reaction Peter got from his fellow believers when they learned that the Gentiles had received the Word of God. The Jewish believers contended with him, accusing him of associating with the uncircumcised.
I couldn’t help thinking of Jesus who thought nothing of going to the home of a centurion whose beloved servant was gravely ill to heal him. He went with the men the centurion sent to escort Him to his house. Jesus was not far away when the centurion sent other men to deter Him, saying that he was not worthy for Jesus to enter his home (Luke 7:2-10). No doubt the religious leaders would have had a problem with Him entering the home of a Gentile.
Peter had harbored the same prejudices as these believers but the Lord gave him a change of heart. He said to Cornelius, the Gentile whom Jesus had sent him to minister to, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (Acts 10:28).
Jesus didn’t discriminate. He ate with Pharisees and He ate with publicans. He didn’t play favorites. He gave all people His time and care and attention. He came to minister to everyone and manifest the love of God who sent Him to save the lost.
Are we guilty of reacting like these brethren? Do we harbor prejudices? Are there certain people we won’t associate with? What if God were to call us to minister to these people as He called Peter to minister to the Gentiles? Let us pray to have the heart and mind of Jesus. That is the only way that we would be able to rejoice with the angels when one lost person is saved.
Starting from the beginning, Peter explained what happened. He ended his narrative with this rhetorical question: “If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” The brethren couldn’t object to that. In fact, they had nothing to say. They became silent. Then, they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”
We are to glorify God for His marvelous grace and remember that His salvation is for everyone.