“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as He had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift as He gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” Acts 11:15–17 (NIV84)
In our verses for today, Peter finds himself before the Christian leaders in Jerusalem explaining why he went into the house of a Gentile (the Roman soldier Cornelius) and had fellowship with him. In his explanation, Peter recalls the words of Jesus as a proof and support for his actions. The thing that I find interesting is that Jesus probably said these words 2 to 3 years prior to this encounter, but only now (on this day) do they make sense to Peter. Have you ever read the Word of God and not gotten much depth or understanding from it? That’s OK! Peter can relate. The first time Jesus told the disciples, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” Peter didn’t have a clue what that meant. But the day the Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius and his associates, and he was baptized, Peter understood perfectly.
The key to all of this is to stay in the Word. We need to continue to deeply root ourselves into God’s Word even when it doesn’t make much sense. We have to trust that the Holy Spirit will provide the discernment we need at the right time. Over the years, I have come to understand more clearly passages of Scripture that always seemed to elude me. I also have to admit that there are portions of Scripture I still don’t understand. But we must commit ourselves to His Word so that someday the Lord will cause us to not only remember what He said but to finally understand its meaning. We can’t remember it if we are not in it.