Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcized believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.
Our passage concludes the account of the conversion of Cornelius in chapter 10. Peter has just spoken about Jesus as the one sent from God, about his death and resurrection, and about the promise of forgiveness for all who believe in him. Peter has learned that the promise is for Gentiles like Cornelius and his friends as much as for Jews. That is now confirmed for the Jewish Christians who have accompanied him as the Gentile audience experience the Holy Spirit in a way similar to the experience of the apostles at Pentecost.
Blessings as we remind ourselves once again that Jesus came for ALL people. Be safe! Be well! He is Risen Indeed!
- What do you understand by “speaking in tongues”? Is it an essential characteristic of every true Christian? On what do you base your answer?
- Think about occasions when you have been surprised by the faith another person has shown. What does that say about your expectations of others?