When I was writing my book Identity Theft, I came across this verse and it struck me as odd. At your first reading, unless you come from a Jewish background, you might not agree. But I will clarify.
Peter, speaking at the home of Cornelius, said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of [these Gentiles] being baptized with water.” (Acts 10:47)
Isn’t that hilarious? Let me explain.
Growing up Jewish, we were told that to be baptized in water was the ultimate act of treason against our people. To publicly go into the waters of baptism was to reject your heritage, your people and your God.
And, yet, here is a Jewish man, Peter, not proclaiming that it is okay for Jews to be baptized, but that it was okay to baptize Gentiles. Since when has it ever been controversial to baptize Gentiles? Yet, if not for the facts that:
Peter had a vision symbolizing that Gentiles could be cleansed by the blood of Jesus;
God told Peter to go with the Gentiles who would come for him at Simon the Tanner’s house;
The Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles, causing them to speak in tongues;
Peter would have never been in the position to recognize that Gentiles could be baptized.
Baptism was Jewish!
You have to