Good News for All – Acts 10:1-11:18
Now send men to Joppa…
It’s interesting to note that Joppa is also referenced in the book of Jonah. You might remember that Jonah was called to go to Nineveh (the capital of Assyria) to preach the Gospel to a city that was full of pagan worship and evil behaviors. Instead of going up to Nineveh, he went down to Joppa in order to run the other way.
Peter has his own dialogue with God right there in Joppa, as God prepares him for something new that was about to happen. By commanding him to eat food that was previously considered unclean, God is helping Peter understand that He is interested in the salvation of ALL people.
And like Jonah, God calls Peter to preach to Gentiles who were part of an oppressive empire. Instead of sending Peter to the Assyrians, God sends him to man named Cornelius–a centurion in the Roman Army. But that’s where the similarities in the stories end. For unlike Jonah, Peter is obedient to God’s call, going to Cornelius, witnessing to him, and baptizing his entire household.
Where is God calling you to go? Who are the people that God desires to reach through you? And how will you respond? Like Jonah who offers excuses and goes in the other direction? Or like Peter who faithfully goes where God calls?
And love that soul thro’ me;
And may I always do my part
To win that soul for Thee.
– Leon Tucker