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.
This is such a known verse, which we use time and time again to showcase Jesus’ ministry and anointing. These words were pronounced by Peter right here in Caesarea.
When Peter first came to Caesarea, he arrived at Cornelius’ house, who invited all his friends and relatives to come and hear Peter. They all waited with great anticipation because they knew the words Peter will share with them will change their lives forever. The atmosphere was bubbling over with excitement, revival was imminent!
Peter arrived in a city filled with foreign temples and customs, and he preached the gospel. Yet, he preached differently than how he preached in Jerusalem. His approach in Jerusalem was one of call to repentance. In Caesarea, he began very casually asking why he was invited? What did they expect from him? Peter was directing them to voice their desire to find God. And that is exactly what he did for them: he helped them to find the Lord by preaching the gospel to them.
The Holy Spirit came down on those Roman gentiles, who have never known the Word of God, yet they believed.
When Jewish believers saw what was happening to these gentiles, how God had touched them, and how they were praying and worshipping, they were amazed and for the first time acknowledged that God had sent His Holy Spirit on the gentiles just as He had on the Jews.
It was the moment that changed history; when the Holy Spirit came down for the first time on non-Jews, and they were saved!
Caesarea is that very biblical place that we’re standing in today, that witnessed the salvation of the first Gentiles, and became the place from which the gospel went out to the rest of the nations, emphasizing God’s plan to save all mankind, not only Jews.
An amazing revelation of God for Peter was to see how the Holy Spirit was touching and filling gentiles, just as He had with Jews, it marked a whole new beginning in Peter’s journey, as well as for all the disciples who realized the gospel was intended to be shared with the whole world, both Jew and gentile.
Caesarea is now forever the place where the gospel was preached to gentiles for the first time in history. Caesarea represents the salvation of the nations.
Can you imagine? Peter came to Caesarea not knowing what to expect, he was just sent by God to preach the gospel there. It ended up changing mankind’s history because the Gospel went out into the world and reached millions of people and generations of non-Jews.
Be encouraged to preach the gospel! Even, or especially with people who you think would never receive the gospel, or accept Jesus. Preach it anyway. God’s Word will never return to Him void. Let the Holy Spirit decide.
You never know what amazing plan might unfold in the most unexpected place.
Father, I pray that the power of the Holy Spirit will work in our lives, that You will use our words to reveal Jesus to those people You will send our way.
Blessings and Shabbat shalom from Caesarea!
Beit Hallel is a Messianic Jewish congregation in Ashdod, led by pastor Israel Pochtar, serving holocaust survivors and the poor and needy locally and throughout the nation of Israel, while building up the body of Messiah in the promised land of Israel.