Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Immersion of Cornelius: Question 20

Acts is one of those really dense books.  So I'll be asking a lot questions about it.  Here's one such question:


Why did Peter IMMEDIATELY immerse Cornelius in a mikveh after it became evident that they Ruach had accepted and purified Cornelius?


  1. Interesting question. I don't know the answer.

    Here's my best guess:

    It's for the same reason that Abraham was circumcised after God appeared to him and made the "father of many nations" promise. The reason: a sign of that covenant.

    Immersion is deeply tied to the gospel itself; Messiah's parting words to his disciples were to immerse those from the nations who believed the good news about Messiah.

    I suggest, then, immersion is a sign of a Messianic covenant.

    Thus, when Peter recognized that Cornelius had been accepted by God, he baptized him as the outwards sign of the Messianic covenant.

    I want to hear your answer.

    1. To place in him "the name". Marked and sealed as betrothed.

    2. Judah,

      I'll throw out a guess (I have no idea if this is correct). There's an old doctrine in Judaism that says you shouldn't delay to perform a mitzvah. I guess it's derived from Psalm 119:60 which says: " I hurried and did not delay to fulfill Your commandments." But it might be even deeper than that. I'm still sort of mulling it over. It might have something to do with immersion being a sort of welcoming into the family and, therefore, immediacy is important. But I don't know.