Peter's Ministry

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Acts 10-12

The Acts of the Apostles or acts of the Spirit through the apostles consists in part of the acts of Peter, who is considered for a few chapters, and the acts of Paul, which take up the remainder of the book. Peter needed a vision from heaven to make him realize that God’s plan was broader than his. We too need to realize that the gospel is not just for “our kind” of people but for all kinds of people who are to be welcomed on an equal basis in the church.

Having been prepared by the vision to see things this way, Peter preaches to Cornelius and his family, and the result is a Pentecost for Gentiles, so that Peter realizes neither he nor any Jewish believer in Jesus can withhold baptism from believing Gentiles. When he goes back to the church at Jerusalem, he needs to argue convincingly to explain such unorthodox behavior.

The gospel now spreads to Antioch, a city on the coast many miles north of the Holy Land, and there for the first time followers of Jesus are called Christians. It was originally an insulting label given to them by pagans because the most distinctive feature of their lives was their relationship to Christ. But the name stuck. Is that the most distinctive feature of our lives?

In the meantime, Peter is thrown in prison. One miracle is this, the night before his execution he is sound asleep. The other is that an angel brings him out of prison. Those at the prayer meeting on his behalf are surprised their prayer is answered.

PRAYER

Father, work in our hearts that the name Christian will not just be a name but describe a relationship. In Christ's name. Amen.