Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 11:52
Year C (2009-2010)
Bible Book: Acts / Handelinge
Chapter: 10
Verse: 34 – 43

There are few of Jesus’ disciples about whom the Bible tells us, in the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, as much as about Peter. When Jesus’ hearing before the Sanhedrin started to show signs of becoming life-threatening, he was the one who denied Jesus in public (Luke22:54-60). When the women came to tell the disciples about the empty grave, he ran to the tomb (Luke 24:12). It was with him that Jesus started a conversation at the Sea of Tiberias to give him the opportunity to declare his love three times (John 21:15-17). In Jerusalem it was Peter who got up to address the crowd and call upon them to acknowledge the risen Christ (Acts 2:14).

And later on Peter was the one who preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection on several occasions (Acts 3:12 cont; 4:8 cont.).

In Acts 10 we see that Peter (who had witnessed Jesus’ resurrection and who had often preached it since) needed the Lord to teach him additional implications of Jesus’ resurrection from death. The lesson had been given by the vision he had received on the roof when he had gone there to pray. But Peter found new insight only when he discovered that God worked in the lives of people whom he had previously considered to be living outside the realm of God’s grace.

Only when Peter’s eyes opened to the merciful way in which God intervened in the life of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, did he cry out, “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism…” (Acts 10:34).

The miracle of the Easter message is still the message of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave. The “danger” is that we know this message so well that we do not stand in awe of it any more. It is no wonder then that we so readily draw boundaries where we consider God’s grace to be working or not.

Fortunately we can also (like Peter) rediscover the miracle of the Easter message (or understand its implications for the first time) when we see the unexpected, unlikely breaking through or breaking out of God’s grace – exactly where we ourselves have drawn boundaries.

Part of this “unexpected and unlikely” occurs when the message of Jesus’ resurrection brings healing and hope within the context of the HIV pandemic. When it is preached by those who live with HIV and is confirmed by those who are ill.

We can only stand in awe.

To think about or discuss: Have you seen or experienced the breaking through or breaking out of God’s grace?

Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English