The Jewish people were the descendants of Israel, who was formerly called Jacob and became a nation in the land of Palestine. The people outside of Israel who did not convert to Judaism were called Gentiles. During the time that Jesus was on the earth, there was a sect of the Jewish people who were called Hellenistic Jews. These were people who mixed the Greek culture with the Jewish religion.
After Jesus was crucified and ascended into heaven, the church was comprised of Jews and Hellenistic Jews. When Peter went to Cornelius’ home, the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles for the first time. Following that event, the barrier that had separated Jews and Gentiles was removed. Later, when the Pharisee named Saul was converted and came to faith in Christ, he became the apostle to the Gentiles and spread the gospel throughout the Roman Empire.
I am so very grateful that in Christ, the walls of separation have come down, and there are no longer barriers that divide us. The one common denominator of the human race is that before we come to faith in Christ, we are all sinners, going our own way instead of God’s way. In Christ, we are forgiven and reconciled back into fellowship with God.