Call No One Unclean

David Bast

Read: Acts 10:1-16, 34-43

God shows no partiality. (v. 34)

So what’s the problem? Cornelius was “a devout man who feared God . . . gave alms generously . . . and prayed continually” (v. 2). Most would conclude that he’s good to go. What more does he need?

He needs Jesus. Apparently being good and kind and devout is not enough. But Jesus promised that those who seek will find, and those who ask will receive, so Cornelius’ prayers will be answered. It just so happens there is a man not far away who can introduce Cornelius to the Lord. God sends two visions, one to Cornelius telling him how to find Peter, and one to Peter telling him not to refuse Cornelius. In case Peter didn’t get the point, a voice from heaven spells it out for him more than once: Don’t call anything (or anyone) God has made unclean.

Peter goes, though it isn’t easy for him to overcome his lifelong aversion to Gentiles. But he goes. And he preaches—the same gospel message he’s been repeating since the day of Pentecost: “They killed him, but God raised him!” The gospel is not good advice; it’s good news about what God has done in Jesus Christ to save the world. And it’s for everyone. God shows no partiality, he doesn’t play favorites. It’s not that the gospel is for nice, clean people, but the unclean need not apply. As a matter of fact, there are no unclean people out there, only people waiting to be cleansed with the blood of Christ. —David Bast

Prayer: Lord, teach me to see no one as unclean.