Day 59: When Boundaries Change

Acts 10:21-29 :

Peter went down to the men, and said, “Behold, I am he whom you seek. Why have you come?”

They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous man and one who fears God, and well spoken of by all the nation of the Jews, was directed by a holy angel to invite you to his house, and to listen to what you say.” So he called them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter arose and went out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. On the next day they entered into Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his relatives and his near friends. When it happened that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up! I myself am also a man.” As he talked with him, he went in and found many gathered together. He said to them, “You yourselves know how it is an unlawful thing for a man who is a Jew to join himself or come to one of another nation, but God has shown me that I shouldn’t call any man unholy or unclean. Therefore also I came without complaint when I was sent for. I ask therefore, why did you send for me?”

This passage reminds me of many situations Christians find themselves in today. Christianity draws people together from all different cultures and backgrounds and reading about the situation in this passage may seem familiar in your experience when you get to know someone who was raised in a different way than you. It is very reasonable that this happens to us as Christians because Jesus saved all of mankind from sin and that includes people from all different cultures. At one time, God had made it impossible for the different cultures to come together because of the great sin that such a group could cause. If you have read in Genesis, you probably remember that when mankind tried to come together and make a name for themselves, God changed the languages so that the group split up and went different directions. Now that the Holy Spirit was in the church, people from different cultures were coming back together and it was a bit awkward.

I wouldn’t be surprised if people started talking to each other about Peter’s strange behavior as he invited Gentiles into his house to stay. It must have really surprised them when he left to go visit their house!

Peter wasn’t the only one feeling awkward. When Cornelius saw Peter he started worshiping him. Peter had to tell him to stop. I want us to consider this fact. An obedient servant of God will never allow anyone to worship him. Notice that Jesus never stopped such worship, but Peter did. You see, unlike many other religions, Christianity and Judaism don’t teach that people are or can become a god. There is only one God and only He is to be worshiped. Any other teaching is unbiblical. There are some who say they are “Christians” who believe that people can become gods, but it is clear from this scripture and others like it that this isn’t biblical teaching.

So, we can see that the cross changed the boundaries between God and mankind and also the ones between the different cultures on the earth.