Online Bible Commentary
He is Lord of All
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ--He is Lord of all-- 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. (NKJV)
The time was about A.D. 40. The apostle Peter had traveled from his home of Jerusalem northwest through Judea, ministering as he went. Peter visited Joppa, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and stayed many days to evangelize and disciple.
Meanwhile, Cornelius, a seeker, living about thirty miles up the coast in Caesarea has caught the attention of the Lord. The Lord has chosen Cornelius and his household to become the first Gentile believers. An angel instructs Cornelius, in a vision, to send his men to Joppa to bring Peter to minister to him in Caesarea. Just as the men were arriving in Joppa, Peter had been given a vision from God that he should no longer observe the Jewish food laws regarding not eating unclean animals.
Through Peter’s vision God showed him that just as he should not call any animals unclean or common he should also not call any man, even a Gentile, unclean or common. He now understood that God wanted him to bring the gospel to the Gentiles, just as he had to the Samaritans and Jews previously.
Now, Peter, some other disciples, and Cornelius’ men have reached the home of Cornelius in Caesarea. Cornelius “had called together his relatives and close friends” to hear what this messenger from God had to say.
Peter expresses this new revelation to the group of Gentiles when he says “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality” (v. 34). Peter continues by proclaiming that everyone who “fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (v. 35). After all, God sent Jesus to the Jews preaching the word of peace that “He is Lord of all” (v. 36). There should now be peace between Jews and Gentiles because they both serve the same God.
Peter continues by explaining that Jesus proclaimed that “He is lord of all” throughout all Judea from the time he was first baptized in Galilee by John the Baptist (v. 37). God anointed Jesus “with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” v. 38).
Peter also explained how he and the other apostles witnessed the ministry of Jesus, as well as his crucifixion at the hands of the Jews (v. 39). God then raised Him on the third day and He was seen by those whom God chose to see Him (vv. 40-41). It appears that only disciples were privileged to see the risen Jesus, just as only disciples are privileged to have their prayers heard by Jesus, except for unbelievers who are reaching out to Him for salvation.
So Peter witnessed to this group of Gentiles. He now understood that Jesus came to save all men, not just the Jews. As a devout Jew, this was not an easy transition for Peter. He had been taught his whole life to despise Gentiles.
But God does not play favorites when it comes to salvation. All those who seek Him, regardless of their race or creed, may receive forgiveness for their sins and salvation. All it takes is a heart open to accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He is Lord of all.