All of us can remember back when we were in school, to a particular student who was always the teacher’s pet. The student was always doing special things for the teacher and in return, got preferential treatment. No one else in the class could stand the person. No one likes when people play favorites. With God, there are no favorites. He wants to see every person in every nation accept Jesus as their savior.
“Peter began to speak: “Now I truly understand that God ‘doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.”
God had to do some interesting things for the Jews to become open to preaching the Gospel to Gentiles. The traditions set up from the Old Testament law were strong, and the repercussions from the community for breaking them were harsh. When the Lord gave Peter a vision about unclean animals, it took several attempts for Peter even to be open to it. Right after that, the Centurions messengers were there to request his presence. Only after Peter seeing the Holy Spirit fall on the Gentiles did it finally get through. This passage is Peter defining himself to the leaders of the church in Jerusalem.
God ‘doesn’t play favorites. The Jews are His chosen people, but once Jesus came the Good News was now available to everyone. There are levels of preference with God. He loves and accepts everyone who believes in His Son Jesus. How does He know that? Those who do what is right. Words are cheap with God. He wants to see us walk our talk. When we stand before Jesus at the judgment seat, our actions will be what is judged, not our reasoning. He accepts those who fear Him and do the right thing.
In James epistle, he comes against showing favoritism, especially to those who are wealthy. We need to reach out to and love on those from every nation and every economic level. We need to resist the temptation to show partiality to those we prefer. If we are growing closer to Jesus on a daily basis, our hearts should be increasing in love for everyone. We should be increasing in our ability to show grace to those who need it.