Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. Acts 10:28
Peter is beginning to realize that Jesus coming to earth was the fulcrum of history. That for the entire Old Testament, God was primarily working with his chosen people, the Jews. This was because the savior of the world was coming through them and God had many things He wanted to teach and illustrate through the time recorded as the law and the prophets. But in the fulness of time, what all history was waiting for — the coming of the Messiah — came, and now everything has changed. God is no longer keeping Himself for one line of people and their descendants, He is now turning His attention to all people, all tribes and all nations. His Son is truly the Savior of the world. The new Jewish Christians are going to have to go through a major transformation in their thinking and their actions towards non-Jews, and it’s going to start with Peter.
An angel appears in a dream to a God-fearing Roman army officer named Cornelius, and tells him to send for Peter. Meanwhile Peter is also having a vision in which the Holy Spirit is telling him to arise, kill and eat all sorts of animals forbidden in the Jewish laws and traditions. “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean,” he is told, and immediately following this vision, servants of Cornelius show up to bring him to Cornelius’s house. Peter gets the point, enters the home, an act formerly forbidden, and preaches to a crowd of Gentiles gathered there and they all believe and receive the Holy Spirit just as the Jews did at Pentecost. The transformation is complete. The gospel message is for all people everywhere. Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right” (Acts 10:34-35).
No favoritism and no discrimination.
History turned on this moment. Those of us who are Gentiles have been grafted into the family tree. There is hope for all people of all nations. This was huge, and it all started in the home of a Roman army officer. A transformation has occurred for those who know and love God. The Jews largely rejected the Savior so that He could be offered to the world, and Gentiles like me are so grateful, but also respectful of those who brought this gift to me, through whom the gift has come.
For those who wonder what happens to people who grow up in countries where other religions are all they hear about, this statement has meaning: In every nation He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right.