READ : Acts 10:34-48
The circumcised believers . . . were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. (v. 45)
I read in the newspaper – so it must be true – that if you count the number of fences you see in a given day, the number will easily exceed 100. I tried it. It is true. Who knew there were so many fences out there?
In Bible times, there was a towering, impenetrable fence between Jew and Gentile. Imagine the gasps then when Peter tore down that fence, proclaiming that “God shows no partiality, but . . . anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Anyone. Acts says the Jews were “astounded” to learn that the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. Astounded!
We smile at the misguided astonishment of the Jewish Christians. Of course God loves Gentiles. How could the Jews not have known that? But have we not looked down on people on the other side the fence – people who disagree with our politics, or people on the “wrong” side of some bitter debate? Haven’t there been times when we would have been astounded to know that the Holy Spirit has been poured out on people on the other side of the fence? If God shows no partiality, how dare we?
If you show no partiality, O God, why do I? Forgive me.