GOSPEL MEDITATION # 34
The Holy Spirit Falls Upon the Gentiles
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- From memory, determine the central points.
- Peter’s first message to Gentiles at Caesarea results in the third awakening recorded in the Book of Acts, the first being that of Jerusalem (Acts 2), the second being the Samaritan (Acts 8).
- When the Holy Spirit “fell” on the Gentiles gathered in Cornelius’ home, Peter, along with the six companions from Joppa were amazed that Gentiles experienced the same as they had on the Day of Pentecost.
- The Hebrew Scriptures mentioned that Gentiles would be blessed, and no Jew would have doubted such would be impossible, still it was a shock to the early Jewish believers.
- Here though were Gentiles speaking in tongues, just like at the Upper Room in Jerusalem. (We note that there was no mention of tongue speaking at the Samaritan awakening.)
- Now that the barrier was broken down, and that by an undeniable demonstration, what next?—baptism.
- Neither John the Baptist nor the early Church developed the practice of baptism. It was practiced in Judaism before the days of Jesus. There is evidence or baptismal pools, for instance, at the Qumran community dating to the first century before Christ.
- Baptism was always a symbolic ritual showing a turning from the past and turning toward something new. It also indicated reception into the community of believers as it was a public profession of faith.
- We must note also, that baptize means dunk or immerse.
- Peter now “commands” the newly converted Gentiles to be baptized once he receives approval from his companions.
- Baptized into “the name of Jesus Christ” means that the baptism meant those so baptized believed in the finished work of Jesus the Messiah, namely His death, burial, and resurrection.