Acts 10

Acts 10: The Gospel of the Gentiles

There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, who was a centurion [ancient Roman army officer: in ancient Rome, an officer in charge of a unit of foot soldiers] of the band called the ‘Italian band’. Cornelius was a devout man, who gave to the poor and prayed to God daily. Cornelius has a vision, where an angel of the Lord is sent commanding him to send men to Joppa and call for Peter.

Meanwhile in Joppa, Peter is on the roof top of the house of the Tanner, where he is praying to God. During his prayer, he falls into a ‘trance’, where he sees the heavens open and sheet filled with clean and unclean animals descends down upon him. The Lord tells Peter to “…kill, and eat.” (Acts 10:13) Peter refuses, because some of the animals are unclean. The invitation from the Lord to eat happens three times before the sheet goes back into heaven. Peter is awoken from his trance by the men that Cornelius had sent knocking on the gate of the home. Peter is told by the Spirit; “…Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” (Acts 10:19-20)

The men explain why they were sent, and Peter lodges with them. The next morning they depart together to Caesarea to meet Cornelius. When they arrive, Cornelius falls at the feet of Peter and worships him. Peter quickly corrects him, saying: “…Stand up; I myself also am a man.” (Acts 10:26)

Peter then speaks to Cornelius and his house, he points out that it is actually unlawful for a Jew to keep company with other people from other nations, but he explains from his vision the previous day that God had taught him; “…that I [Peter] should not call any man common or unclean.” (Acts 10:28) Peter then teaches of Jesus Christ and opens up his address by emphasizing “…Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him.” (Acts 10:34-35) Peter goes on to explain the story of Jesus Christ and how He died for the Sins of all. While Peter spake, the Spirit of God fell upon all who were gathered and they did believe.

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