In Acts 10 there is another dramatic account of how the message of Christ was spread further. Under Christ’s guidance the Apostle Peter finds himself in a situation he never anticipated! He was expected to teach a Roman Centurion, his relatives and close friends the truth about Jesus Christ. At his home in Caesarea a vision “inwardly perplexed” him (verse 17) and set him on this course of action. The unmistakable meaning of the vision caused him to do something he never imagined. It was contrary to the Jewish law to go into the home of a non-Jew. This arose from the Jewish conviction that they were a holy nation, a special people, but they had misused this privileged position and now God was inviting all to be part of His holy Nation – look at what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:9.
Divine direction brings Peter into this Roman home in Caesarea; when Peter entered the Centurion said, “we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded of the Lord”.
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “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” (verses 33-35).
The core of his message is the life and teaching of Jesus, “and we are witnesses of all that he did … and he commanded us to preach … that he is the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (verses 39,42,43). As Peter completes the essential part of his message, to his astonishment the Holy Spirit falls on them, so he realizes they should be baptised. Peter now knows beyond any doubt that the message of Jesus and baptism into his name is for all peoples. This commission to be witnesses applies to every generation.
The written word has made all who read and believe into disciples of Jesus – and all such have a responsibility to be witnesses, showing no partiality. What great darkness exists in the world today! Let us each shed a little light where we can! What a marvellous privilege to know and believe God’s word and to “have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).