Cornelius, a non-Jew, received a vision from God while praying that told him to have Peter come to his home. He obeyed, and Peter came. When Cornelius retold his story, Peter responded:
“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
There’s much more to this story, but here I simply wish to highlight Peter’s initial response. Peter had focused his efforts to this point on sharing the good news of Jesus with fellow Jews. Now God had sent him to speak to non-Jewish Gentiles to share the same love of Jesus. Even for the leader of the early Christian movement, this came as a surprise.
The surprise was that God’s love did not stop with the Jews, but extends to every person in every nation who will call on the name of Jesus.
All of us who are non-Jews who follow Jesus are eternally thankful for this. Yet we often fail to apply this truth adequately to others. We share our faith much more easily with people more like us that those more unlike us. But we have been called to share the love of Jesus with all who will listen, regardless of ethnicity or boundary.
So a good Christian can love their country, but they better love the people of other countries, too. That includes every individual of a different ethnic group within our own borders.
God’s love has no boundaries. Neither should ours.
Dillon Burroughs is the author or co-author of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of the New Testament in 2011 at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.