“Everyone who believes in [Jesus] receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
On my way to Big Meadows on the Appalachian Trail, I walked for some distance with Dave, an Australian “bloke.” We chatted and shared notes and complaints about the trail. Though it was pleasant to talk with a fellow hiker, it was challenging to keep an eye on the trail and to keep up with Dave.
Acts 10 tells us the apostle Peter walked more than a day’s journey conversing with some Gentiles. As a devout Jew who would have shunned contact with non-Jews, this was a new experience for Peter. But God had explained to him in a vivid dream that he wanted people of all nations to be saved and to worship him. So when Peter learned that a Roman centurion, who worshiped God, needed to hear the good news about Jesus, Peter went with some Roman soldiers to Joppa to meet their commanding officer. That day Peter shared the good news of Jesus and baptized the centurion and many others there who believed and were welcomed into the family of God.
Thank God that Jesus has destroyed the walls separating us from people of other nations and cultural backgrounds. All who believe “are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:29). Still, we often tend to rebuild walls that keep us apart. Like Jesus’ apostles, we need to learn to embrace others who are different from us—and when we do, we experience the breadth of God’s love.
Lord Jesus, you came so that we can walk together with all of your followers and share your good news of peace and hope. Amen.
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