Woman: I have never seen so many dirty clothes! You would think the master's children played at the beach everyday. My master, Cornelius is a good man, though. I do know that he gives a lot of money to poor people here in Caesarea. He took me in when I was all alone and had no one to support me. I think most of us that serve his family were once poor...The world needs more people like him.
Oh, I have to tell you about what happened here earlier this week! The master's valet told me that the master had some kind of vision about bringing some guy here from Joppa. Somebody that no one knows...here to the house! If I didn't know the master better, I'd say he was crazy! But, you know how he is...what centurions want, centurions get, so he sent one of his soldiers and a couple of the men-servants to get this guy. In the meantime, Cornelius sent messages to everyone he knew to meet with him and this guy from Joppa tomorrow. Sara, one of the cooks, told me that she had heard this guy from Joppa was a Jew, and was part of the big blowup in Jerusalem during the passover. They say that it was all about some guy named Jesus - and who doesn't know a 'Jesus' - who got killed during some political rally in the Temple, I think.
Anyway, this guy from Joppa is coming here tomorrow...to speak to all of us. I hope that the master doesn't expect me to stand and listen to this Jewish guy. No Jew has ever done anything for me, except treat me like a second class citizen. So I don't have much interest in anything they have to say. (pause) Still, I might find out some juicy news from out of town...maybe I will listen after all...
Peter got here this morning...that's the guy from Joppa. All the people Cornelius invited were here when he got here, so he came in to talk to us. And yes, I did go in and listen. At first, I thought he would be like all the other self-righteous Jews I ever met, because he didn't want to come into a 'Gentile' home. But then I heard him say something I didn't expect from a Jew...he said that God had shown him that no person was unfit to associate with.
So, I listened. He talked about how God doesn't show favoritism, but is for everybody, even Gentiles, He explained how Jesus, the guy that got killed in Jerusalem actually planned it this way, and, believe it or not, he came back from the dead after 3 days! At that point, I decided that Peter was crazy, until he said Jesus had been seen by many people after he came back from the dead. It all seemed pretty creepy, like ghosts roaming around. Then Peter explained how he himself walked with Jesus before he died, and how one day Jesus asked him who he thought Jesus was. He said that he told Jesus that he was the Messiah, the Christ, the chosen one of God, and Jesus told him that only God could have shown him that.
I didn't hear much else after that...I thought of the gods that I pray to everyday. My family has always prayed to these gods, and I believe in them. But what about this Jesus? Do I have to give up my gods in order to believe in Jesus? Maybe Peter and the other followers were mistaken about who Jesus was; he could have died and they just 'thought' they saw him. I don't know. It's such a big change, I don't know if I can go that far.......What would you do if you were me?
© Fred Lane, Crosswind Community Church, All rights reserved
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