«In truth I perceive that Cod shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him» (Acts 10:34, 35).
If someone gave you the description to decile of a person who is well-built, tough; and with leadership skills, then asked you whether that person was a military officer or a missionary, which option would you choose? Would lean more towards the option of a military officer? Many people would do so because such a description coincides more with the prototype of a military person than that of a missionary. But relying on prototypes can distract us from thinking about other relevant aspects. That’s precisely what the well-known cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize awardee (2002), proved in his work about human judgment and decision-making under uncertain circumstances.
In fact, the apostle Paul and some members of Joppa were astonished when they saw that the Holy Spirit was poured out over people who did not fit their profiles.
Few Israelites of those times could have imagined that Cornelius, a Roman centurion, could be also be seen as a potential missionary. However, this centurion, of the band called the Italian, was also a pious and God-fearing man who was known for his prayers and donations (Acts 10: 1, 2). When Peter preached to him about Christ, he accepted Him as his personal Savior. Even Cornelius’s family and friends who heard the message accepted Christ.
Have you ever thought about the missionary prototype we are used to? Is it a priest or a pastor? Who will God send to bring the message of salvation to the billions of people who still do not know Him? How will He do it? Will He use traditional methods of evangelism or will He surprise us as He did at the start of the Christian church?
Today’s Bible verse relates the apostle’s conclusion after witnessing Cornelius’s commitment, «In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.» «Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things. . . God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the sim le means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.» Last Day Events, ch. 14, p. 203).
We invite you today to pray for those missionaries who are called by God to undertake and perfect His work in the most remote places of the world.