Do you like eggs? There are so many different ways to fix eggs — fried, scrambled, or hard boiled. You can make an omelet or a breakfast burrito. You can eat them by themselves or mix them with chicken or tuna to make sandwiches. Eggs are also used to make delicious treats such as cookies, cakes, and pies.
Have you ever wondered why some eggs are white and some eggs are brown? Well the answer is quite simple. White chickens lay white eggs and reddish brown chickens lay brown eggs. Is there any difference between white eggs and brown eggs? Well, yes, white eggs are white and brown eggs are brown.
“What about the inside?” you may ask. On the inside they look just the same. The color of the shell has nothing to do with an egg’s quality, nutritional value, or flavor. On the inside, all eggs are the same.
You know, that is true of people too. Some people may be light-skinned and have blond hair and blue eyes. Others may be dark-skinned and have brown hair and brown eyes. On the outside, they may look different, but on the inside they are the same.
Simon Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples. He was a Jew and he believed that God sent Jesus only to the Jews. God gave Peter a vision that showed him that He created all people and that He loved them all the same. After God showed him that, Peter said, “I now realize that God does not show partiality. He accepts people from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” God also showed Peter that he must” tell the good news that Jesus is the Lord of all and that everyone who believes in him will be forgiven of their sins.”
Sometimes we sing “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”
Jesus loves the little children.
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
We sing the song, but do we believe it? Do we show it in the way that we treat other people? I hope so!
In the late 1960s there was a pastor, known by his friends as Chuck, who felt God had called him to teach the Bible in an understandable way. He became the pastor of a small church in California. The hippie culture was in full swing, and kids were losing their minds. Sex, drugs and rock and roll was the mantra of the day. Parents thought an entire generation was lost.
Chuck looked at these hippies and for the most part didn’t want that much to do with them, but his wife Kay, who was one of the unsung heroes of the Jesus Movement, had a real heart for these kids and she prayed for them.
One day their daughter brought home a living, breathing hippie. It turns out that this hippie was a Christian, and he talked about how his friends were coming to faith in Christ. Chuck and Kay wanted to open their church to these hippies, and Chuck shared this with his church’s board of directors.
The elders did not want hippies in their church because their bare feet would stain the new carpet. The next Sunday morning, Chuck was at the front door with a basin of water and a rag, ready to wash the hippies’ feet so they could come to church.
Chuck won that battle. The hippies started coming, and this became part of a modern revival known as the Jesus Movement, the impact of which continues to this day. Chuck was willing to overcome personal prejudice and say, “Yes, Lord.”
The apostle Peter also overcame his personal prejudices. Acts 10:34-43 is a part of one of Peter’s sermons. His main point is that God shows no partiality. Everyone who believes in God is saved. Peter finally realized that God’s love and salvation are open to everyone-both Jews and Gentiles. Anyone who believes in Jesus will receive forgiveness of sins. That brought a deep desire in the hearts and minds of Cornelius and his household. The way the Holy Spirit fell upon them is a good lesson that we can’t administrate Pentecost. We should also not be surprised when it happens. When we spread the Good News, the gift of faith to respond is given, and the Holy Spirit follows. God used Peter to show Cornelius and his family the way to God. Those who really seek God will find Him.
When Christ paid the price for our sins through His death, He established peace between God and man. He removed the barrier between God and man. If Jesus can pray for the forgiveness of those who cursed Him, spat upon Him, beat Him and ultimately crucified Him, how can we think that His forgiveness is not big enough for us? His forgiveness is big enough because of His limitless love, immeasurable grace and unwavering faithfulness.
In light of the reaction of the Jews, the purpose of the Gentiles’ speaking in tongues was that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles. This reinforces Peter’s private vision in Acts 10:9-16 to take the Good News to everyone. In Caesarea, God made it known that anyone who called on the name of the Lord would be saved. It didn’t matter if people were Jews or Gentiles. Because God sent Peter to this unlikely place to share the Gospel, the message of God’s love and grace for everyone has spread throughout the world.
We are not to judge each other. Paul tells us in Romans 2 that “God judges those who do wrong things, and we know that His judging is right.” Racism begins in our hearts with wrong attitudes, a lack of compassion, or a lack of understanding of different cultures. It’s perpetuated by our failure to speak out against it.
Acts 10:37-40 is one of the best summary statements of Christ’s ministry in the entire New Testament. Peter pointed out that he witnessed the events of Jesus’ ministry firsthand. No one was more intimately involved in the events of Jesus’ death than Peter; his own denial of Jesus would be something he would never forget. He finished where every account of Christ’s life should: with His death and resurrection.
We can have confidence that if God has a calling for us, even if it is to go into a territory that is unfamiliar to us, He will go ahead of us. He will prepare our hearts for our missions, and He will prepare others to receive what we are offering them. We will be ambassadors for Jesus. As His representative, we will have the power and authority that Jesus has.
Peter concludes his gospel presentation by providing the answer that Cornelius and every person needs: it is only through faith in Jesus that a person can be right with God. So what does Peter’s declaration that God shows no partiality mean for our modern Christian community? Our churches remain largely segregated according to ethnicity or race. Some of this is cultural, some of it has to do with our comfort levels, and some of it has to do with the makeup of the population of our local areas. But could it also have to do with the fact that many of us in the white Christian community have not made peace with our suppression or oppression of minority communities? Then there is the church’s relationship with the LGBTQ community. The church has largely been hostile to this community, although many denominations such as the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada have overcome this hostility by becoming welcoming, affirming congregations and by performing same sex weddings. The story in Acts 10:34-43 has proved to be an important piece in our journey to fully welcoming our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. The Spirit moves as the Spirit moves!
I have seen this personally in the life of one of my cousins. His father was my father’s brother. His father and mother were very strict, devout members of a United Baptist church in Saint John, New Brunswick. They raised five children in the Baptist church, but two of their sons rebelled. One was a homosexual who died of AIDS approximately 25 years ago, and another son became a criminal. His parents even resorted to sending him to stay with my grandparents from time to time. He later moved to British Columbia and started a construction company. He led a troubled life, including divorce, but Jesus did not give up on him. I can proudly say that at some point during the last several years my cousin repented and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. I know this has happened because he is one of my friends on Facebook, and I have seen posts where he has expressed his love for Jesus.
The setup of Acts 10:34-43 is the encounter between Peter and Cornelius. We are in the position of Cornelius. We have received God’s invitation to seek and pursue, and we are the recipients of good news. How do we live like this and carry that forward? As verse 33 says, “Now all of us are here in the presence of God to listen to all that the Lord has commanded you to say.” Are we ready for these opportunities when they come our way? Are we ready when that opportunity to witness and testify presents itself?
- Jeremiah, David: The Jeremiah Study Bible: New Kings James Version (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013; pp. 1505-1506)
- “All the Children of the World.” Retrieved from www.Sermons4Kids.com
- Ogilvie, L.J. & Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Vol. 28: Acts (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1983; pp. 183-185)
- Jameson, R.; Fausset, A.R., & Brown, D.: A Critical & Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems; 1997; pp. 186-187)
- Stanley, C.F.: The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible: New King James Version (Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles; 2005)
- MacArthur, J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers; 2006)
- Lucado, M.: The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson; 2020; pp. 1519-1521)
- Bob Christopher, “Christ Must Increase.” Retrieved from email@example.com
- Pastor Greg Laurie,” Without Prejudice.” Retrieved from www.harvest.org
- Berni Dymet, “It’s Black and White.” Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bob Christopher, “Cornelius Was Convinced.” Retrieved from email@example.com
- Michael Youssef, Ph.D., “His Forgiveness is Big Enough.” Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Michael Youssef, Ph.D., “A Move of the Spirit.” Retrieved from email@example.com
- Joel Osteen, “Anointed to Heal.” Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org