Acts 10:36 “This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.”

     Peter is speaking to Cornelius, a Gentile who was about to accept this message along with his entire household.  The Gospel is for everyone – Jew and Gentile;   “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)  The Gospel is for men and women in all walks of life; “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)  The Gospel is an equal opportunity message.

     When we share the Gospel we must realize that people hear it differently.  A person’s specific needs and the context of their life shape the sensitivity of their hearing.  Cornelius was a centurion – a devout man with authority and under authority (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)  Like the centurion who came to Jesus for help- his faith was simple, direct and ‘no frills’;  “For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Matthew 8:9)

     Peter introduced the Gospel to this military man of authority and action by outlining the terms of surrender  – ‘peace with God through Jesus Christ who is Lord of all’.  True warriors don’t fight for war they fight for peace and submit to the truth of it.  Military men know that peace comes with a price and the Gospel tells us that peace with God came through the shed blood of His Son; “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) 

     All men are intensely interested in meeting the challenges of life and overcoming.  The desire to provide, succeed and come to terms with a hostile world that offers no any real sense of meaning drives a man.  This has been  so since the fall;  “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

     Women  desire intimacy and relationship and have since the fall; “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)  Sadly for both men and women, legalistic rule and exploitation has emptied worldly relationships of intimacy.  Yet such is the context we live in and the Gospel addresses the context of our lives.  Jesus knew this.  It was His mission to bring us the Good News; “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free . . . ” (Luke 4:18)

     The Samaritan woman at the well responded to Jesus because He spoke to her within the context of her life; “The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ Then they went out of the city and came to Him.” (John 4:28-30)   When we bring the Gospel to people where they live they naturally want to hear more.  All of  humanity since the fall searches for peace with God even if many can’t put it into words or don’t even know such a thing exists.  We are made in His image (Genesis 1:27) and we will long to see His image of hope and peace in every reflection of our trials and troubles.  If we can’t see Him or make out His image we feel empty!

     When we share the Gospel we must speak into the lives of the people listening to this message.  There is a temptation to speak out of our own fancies and predilections.  God has equipped us with His Word and the Holy Spirit to help us with this mission; “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

     God knows who you are talking to – Let Him do the talking.

    Praise the Lord!

    

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