I am so thankful for the Jews. They were the ones through whom God chose to bring salvation to the world. God had stuck with them even when they disobeyed, protected them even when they put themselves in danger. They didn’t deserve His kindness, but God knew that He would come to earth through a Jewish woman. And in spite of the Jews who rebelled, Jesus was indeed born of Mary.
It’s no wonder the Jews felt Jesus was exclusively their’s. For centuries they knew they were chosen, set apart, and they felt superior to anyone not Jewish (known as Gentiles). The Holy Spirit had come to the Jews there in Jerusalem. Salvation through Jesus was their’s.
So Peter’s vision and subsequent encounter with Cornelius, a Gentile centurion, was met with criticism. “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” (11:3)
What were you thinking, Peter?
But I love that when Peter explained his vision, shared what happened when the Holy Spirit was given to non-Jewish believers just as it had been give to them, the once horrified Jews “had no further objections.” Then this:
(they) praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” (11:18)
Yes. Yes He did. Even Gentiles. Even me!
And me! Amen.
Amen! And I look forward to praising God with you for eternity when this life is over!