Peter’s ministry outside Jerusalem and Cornelius
In the previous chapter we have seen how the Good News (Gospel) has been preached in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and how they all have responded to it. Now is the time to see another dimension of Acts 1:8. We have encountered several situations where the unexpected happened: miracles, signs and wonders, towns and villages changed by the Gospel, stoning, Saul’s conversion, Ananias, Barnabas etc… yet there is more to come. This changing irresistible power of the Good News is clearly challenging and continuing to shock its bearers. The story of salvation is tangible for anyone from this point onwards there even Gentiles can embrace the resurrected Christ. God does not show favouritism with His Gospel but anyone is acceptable to Him.
1. Read Acts 10:1- 23. Let’s have a look how Luke has profiled Cornelius. Why is prompted from the angel to invite Simon Peter? What is missing in devotion to God?
2. Why is it important to Luke to point that for Cornelius was an angle that communicated with him where as for Peter was the Holy Spirit? (10:4-8; 10:19)
3. Read 10:24-48. Peter seems not to understand yet (v29) yet he obeyed the Spirit. What happened to the Gentiles and to the Jews after the Gospel message was preached? Why were the marks of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Baptism crucial here?
4. Focus on 10:41-43. This is an important part of the Gospel message. What does Peter want to highlight by mentioning it?
5. Read 11:1-18. It the shift from criticism to approval of Peter’s ministry to the Gentiles natural? What would we have done if we were in their shoes? Why does Luke have to go again through all that detail from the previous chapter?
Thought for the week: Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. Acts 10:34-35