Acts 10 is at a revolution point in God’s wonderful work. It’s where the news of Jesus goes directly to a non Jew. The whole world has direct access to Jesus by trust – always God’s plan, now fully revealed because of the completed work of Jesus.
And God’s revolution comes by preaching.
Proclaiming the news of Jesus often feels and looks unutterably weak. Yet many indications of Acts 10 show apostolic preaching to be God’s chosen way. (Brackets for verse numbers.)
- Cornelius needs to hear the gospel, so God sends an angel (=messenger) who says: send for Peter (5). Why not let the angel talk? Because it had to be the apostle. This is extraordinary preparation to hear preaching
- Peter experienced a disturbing vision from God to show that all people have immediate opportunity to trust Jesus (15). God could have given Cornelius this vision. This is extraordinary preparation for the preacher
- When Cornelius sent for Peter, the go-betweens specified that it was to hear what you have to say (22)
- Even more than that, Cornelius himself knew that Peter had been commanded by the Lord to speak (33)
- Cornelius is scared of the angel (4), but tried to worship Peter (25). Mistaken worship, but a right assessment of relative importance
- Cornelius’ crowd already knew about Jesus’ ministry (37). This is not information transfer. They needed Peter’s preaching
- The apex of Peter’s sermon is that God sent people to speak about Jesus (42-43). Beforehand were the prophets, and after the resurrection Jesus sent eyewitnesses to preach and testify
- It was while Peter was speaking that the Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius (44)
The major amazement of Acts 10 is that the benefits from Jesus are poured out freely “even on the Gentiles” (45). But along the way we read plenty of reminders that God’s chosen method of saving is by preaching the apostolic message.
May we never lose confidence in speaking the gospel of Jesus.