One of the prayers in the Talmud which Jewish men prayed on a regular basis was, “Oh God, I thank You that I am not a Gentile, that I am not a slave, and that I am not a woman.” No doubt at times in his life the great apostle Peter himself had prayed that prayer. That’s why the conversion of Cornelius was such a life-changing experience for Peter. He had grown up believing that Jewish men were God’s elect inner circle of people. But when God saved Cornelius and his entire household and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter came to realize that “God so loved the whole world that He gave His only begotten Son.” The whole world includes every man and every woman of every race.
Sometimes as Christians we begin to think that we are God’s elect inner circle. And I guess in some ways we are. But our privileged position should never cause us to forget that God loves the whole world and “wishes that none perish, but that all would come to eternal life.” We should be “the church of the open door—open to whoever desires a relationship with the true and living God.
May God bless our study in Acts today,