In this chapter we are beginning to see the gospel going out to the Gentiles. Here it is Peter that is the one that for this moment is to go and share the gospel of Jesus with a Centurion. Cornelius is a God fearing man. In fact he is the kind of gentile that Paul writes about in Romans, when he is explaining about God's righteous judgement.
Romans 2:12-15 says: 'For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in Godís sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)'
The vision that Peter has is a big deal, although for us it may not initially seem that way. In the vision Peter sees all kinds of animals that God himself had declared detestable and unclean for Jews to touch in some cases, never mind eat. However, Jesus had come to fulfil the law, and in dying on the cross he had made all those who call on His name clean. This is what God is saying to Peter in his vision. Under Jewish law Peter should not have even entered Cornelius' house, never mind stay for a few days and eat the food they provided.
So Peter goes and does what God says. He preaches the gospel to the whole house and everyone who heard it received the Holy Spirit! They spoke in tongues and praised God! Peter baptises them with water in the name of Jesus. All those with him can see the glory of God on the move.
Today I ask you to thank God for his mercy and grace, that he extends without showing favouritism. Thank God that Jesus came to fulfil the law so that us 'even Gentiles' can have a loving relationship with Him, we can have that forgiveness and that infilling of the Holy Spirit! What an awesome loving God we have!