Acts 10:5 , “And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname in Peter.” (Acts 10:5 – Full text all of Acts 10)
You’ve heard it said, never send a boy to do a man’s job. Well God says never send an angel to do a disciple’s job. Cornelius was a Roman Centurion responsible for the band of 100 men under his authority. The Scripture says that, “He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly (v.2).” Yet despite all of these great qualities he still needed to hear and know the way of salvation through Christ alone.
So what did God do to reach this devout Roman Centurion? An angel of God spoke to him in a vision and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” WOW, this man’s efforts toward godliness were noticed by God, and God wishing for none to perish was going to make sure this man and his family knew what the real deal with reaching God was. Despite all of his efforts, none qualified this man to earn a seat in the Kingdom of Heaven, because those seats can’t be earned. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” The gift this man needed was Christ.
My question is, why didn’t the angel of the Lord give this man the Gospel, but instead told him to send for Peter. Doesn’t that seem like a lot of unnecessary hoops to jump through when it would seem that it would have been much simpler to have the angel give Cornelius the Gospel? Who did Christ give the responsibility to bring the gospel to others to, His disciples or His angels? This account shows us the great responsibility Christ places on you and I to fulfill the Great Commission. In the movie Spider Man, Uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” If we have the Great power of the Holy Spirit in us, then we need to fulfill the great responsibility of the Great Commission. God could have saved Cornelius apart from Peter, but Peter was the mailman that was called to do his job, that of bringing the Gospel to this Gentile man. This should send a wakeup call to the Disciples of Christ to be active in going out to seek and save the lost by being witnesses unto Him and making disciples. Christ didn’t tell us to pray for the power of the Gospel to do its work, but for laborers to take the gospel to those that need it. And if they’re breathing and without Christ then they need Him! A farmer doesn’t sit inside the farm and only pray for a harvest. He goes out to sow seed so that he may reap a harvest. Peter went to sow the seed of the Gospel in Cornelius’ life and family, because the soil of Cornelius’ heart had been prepared for the Gospel.
Thank God the disciples didn’t stay in the Upper Room and just pray for the unsaved, but they obeyed the mandate to Go and seek and save the lost. Jesus last command should be our first priority. Is that true in your life? Paul reminds us, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
Application: Lord send, not Peter but the one who is reading this devotion to someone that is ready for the seed of the Gospel to be planted in an unsaved life.
Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><