Peter’s gospel, inspired as it was by God’s revelation that all humans are on the same plane, results in a Spirit-inspired response:
10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the message. 10:45 The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 10:46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,10:47 “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 10:48 So he gave orders to have them baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days.
The encounter with the work of God in the lives of those whom we have previously shunned or excluded is one of the most potent accusations of our own theologies. That’s what the Jewish believers experienced.
Cornelius and crowd got the Holy Spirit; they spoke in tongues.
The Jewish believer said as a result of what they saw: “if they’ve got the Spirit, they should be baptized.”
Notice the order: Gentile believers receive Spirit; Jewish believers astonined; Peter speaks for the Jewish believers in urging baptism.
Let us not minimize the significance of leaders in breaking boundaries.
I love how the text ends: OK Peter, if you think we’ve got the Spirit and are now part of God’s people, stay with a few days, eat with us and show to the world that Gentiles are part of the Church!