Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Acts 10:17-33 – Jesus, the seeking Saviour

We thought yesterday about how Jesus had been working in the life of Cornelius. Today we will think about how Jesus continued his secret approach to Cornelius.
First, Jesus tells the Roman centurion to do something, which is to send to Joppa for Peter. Jesus passes on this command in a supernatural manner by speaking to Cornelius through an angel. Can we think of any reasons why Jesus did it this way? I would say that he was creating humility and hope within Cornelius. Humility is seen in the way that Cornelius, who usually gave the orders, now received an order. Yet the command that he received was full of hope because the angel assured him that something would happen.
Is that not often the way that Jesus works, whatever our spiritual state? We may be dissatisfied with the world or looking for assurance or disinterested in the Christian faith. Totally different situations, but those in each one need to see whether or not they will bow to Jesus. He speaks to us supernaturally through his Word and speaks about humility and hope. This is often the key for future progress as we can see from the response of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus. He was unwilling to humble himself and acknowledge that Jesus was Lord, despite giving the impression that he did. Even on that occasion, the Saviour had encouraged the ruler by saying that if he did obey he would have treasure in heaven. But without humility the hope is not grasped.
Thankfully Cornelius obeyed what he was told to do and was then waiting for the next stage in his spiritual journey. Meanwhile Peter was getting prepared by Jesus to meet with Cornelius, and this preparation was fourfold. First, we saw in a previous study that Peter had taken some steps in the direction of not imposing the separation of Jew and Gentile that was stipulated in the ceremonial law when he went to live with a tanner. Second, now Jesus gave him a very specific vision, which Peter realised came from Jesus (the apostle addresses God by a title that usually belonged to Jesus). Peter also would have been impressed by the fact that the vision was repeated three times – on a previous occasion he had been told three times to feed Christ’s sheep. Third, Jesus arranged a coincidence in providence in that Cornelius’ representatives arrived at that exact moment, which tells us that Jesus in heaven is master of all the moments of history. Fourth, the Holy Spirit told Peter to go with the men.

Whatever else was happening, Jesus was in control of all the circumstances as he worked to bring Cornelius and Peter together.

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