Lots of marble. Capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Tuesday, 20 September 2022
And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. Acts 10:24
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The previous verse saw Peter heading to Caesarea along with some brothers from Joppa and his three escorts from Cornelius’ house. With that remembered, it now says, “And the following day they entered Caesarea.”
The traveling took part of the day, they would have lodged for the night, and they would have arrived at the house of Cornelius after entering Caesarea. Upon their arrival, it next says, “Now Cornelius was waiting for them.”
It was obvious that he was on pins and needles as he waited. One can see him sitting in a chair in his house, getting up, walking back and forth, sitting back down, fidgeting his feet, and getting up to walk back and forth again. Whatever plans may have existed before the vision, they would have been put on hold so that he would be at home when Peter arrived. Next, it says, “and had called together his relatives.”
Cornelius wasn’t one to hold his faith quietly. He knew that God had called him to this meeting, and he wanted his family to be there when it occurred. He knew that if God called, He had a purpose that extended beyond himself. And more, it says he also called his “close friends.”
The word translated as “close” is new to Scripture, anagkaios. It means “necessary.” Of this word, Vincent’s Word Studies says, “The word originally means necessary; hence of those who are bound by necessary or natural ties; blood-relations. But as relatives or kinsmen is expressed by συγγενεῖς, this must be taken in the sense of intimate friends, a meaning which it has in later Greek writers.”
Ultimately, the word means “what one cannot do without” or “indispensable.” Cornelius wanted to share the coming experience with those who were so closely knit to him that they were either family or the extended type of family that comes from a soul-to-soul bond, somewhat like what we read concerning David and Jonathan in the book of 1 Samuel –
“Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1
This same sentiment is noted concerning David and Jonathan several more times, demonstrating the true bond that had developed between the two. Cornelius had such friends and wanted to share the events to come with them as well, knowing it meant something important would occur in their lives.
Life application: Are you saved? Have you believed the gospel? If so, how affected are you by that good news? Have you shared it with your family? Have you shared it with your friends? Have you shared it with your coworkers? Have you shared it with anyone?
Your life in Christ means that you have moved from death to life. You were condemned and destined to be forever separated from the goodness of God. Now, you are saved and will spend eternity in His presence, discovering who He is and being granted a type of existence that you cannot even fathom at this point. If those around you have not heard this good news, doesn’t that move you at all?
You may be the only person who ever takes the time to tell these people about what God has done for them in Christ, if they are willing to believe. If not you, then who? Have a heart, have compassion on their pitiful state, and be willing to share this wonderful news of life with those who are in need of hearing it. To the glory of God, may it be so.
Lord God, our lives are short, and time is moving along quickly. We do not have “tomorrow” except in hope. We may not arrive there. And so, help us to be wise and share the good news about Jesus while we have Today. Help us in this Lord. Grant us the desire and the ability to speak this wonderful news. Amen.