Peter and the rest of the first Jewish Christians never saw it coming.
It took a clear vision of an angel of God in Caesarea and a noon day trance in Joppa (Acts 10:3, 9-10) just to get Peter to visit the Gentile Cornelius with his relatives and close friends. How shocked Peter must have been when Cornelius informed him that he wanted “to hear all things commanded you by God” (Acts 10:33). Though his lips had said it (Acts 2:39), his mind had not grasped it: The gospel is for all—Jews and Gentiles.
Finally, Peter got it: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35).
God’s mystery is marvelous because of its message: “the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6).
Not only does the good news of spiritual victory in Christ require no funny hats, no covert initiations, no secret handshakes, and no smoke or mirrors, it also does not require a Gentile to be circumcised or keep any part of the Law of Moses before or after becoming a Christian.
In the gospel, there is equality of blessing. Everyone can become a fellow heir of God.
In the gospel, there is equality of value. Everyone can become a fellow member of the body.
In the gospel, there is equality of opportunity. Everyone can become a fellow partaker of the promise made to the uncircumcised Abram when he was justified by obedient faith (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-6; Galatians 3:6-9).
What effective working of His power is at the heart of God’s marvelous mystery!