While in Israel, we went to Joppa and I was able to go to the house of “Simon the Tanner.” In Acts 10, you can read the account of Cornelius. He was a devout man and all that were in his house believed and worshiped the true God. Cornelius, who lived in Caesarea, had a vision (verse 3) and in that vision he was to seek out Peter who was staying with Simon the Tanner. Caesarea was about 30 miles north of Joppa so it was no short journey to get there. In the meantime, down in Joppa, Peter was having his time of prayer on Simon’s housetop when he also had a vision (verse 10). In the vision, Peter learned that God was preparing him to witness not only to Cornelius but for anyone whether they be Jew or Gentile. The men that Cornelius sent found Peter and he returned with them to Joppa. When Cornelius and Peter finally met, Peter spelled it out in verse 28: “Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation” and then he goes on to say “but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” The Bible goes on to say in verse 34, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” Peter had recognized that Jesus came to this earth for all people. He did not come for a select few but for each and every person willing to accept his forgiveness.
Throughout the rest of the chapter, Peter shared the Gospel with Cornelius and all that were gathered there. Many were saved and baptized during the time that Peter was there. That same God still saves anyone and everyone willing to call upon him for forgiveness. Have you? Enjoy your coffee.
Love you all,
Gary W. Hall, Pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.