ApPeter.jpgPeter’s message reshaped the Church to expand it to its universal proportions:

Acts 10:37 …. you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 10:38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him. 10:39We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 10:40 but God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 10:41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 10:42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to warn them that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 10:43 About him all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

You could say this passage reflects the earliest “gospel” — and what do we see?

1. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Not just his death or his resurrection; his life and his doing good is part of the story of Jesus (which became the Gospels).
2. I hear echoes here of the Gentile inclusion gospel in the words of Peter, reflecting his adaptation of the gospel to context: God was with him (as he was with Peter and Cornelius and godfearers), their fellowship with Jesus (as Peter is doing with Cornelius), and Peter connects Jesus’ universal Lordship and offer of forgiveness.
Missional work is adaptive and it is expansive.
A good assignment: What would the gospel be if this were our passage?
More from Beliefnet and our partners