Acts 10

10:1 At Caesarea [capital of the Roman province of Judea; first city to have Gentile Christians and non-Jewish church] there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion [commander of one hundred soldiers] in what was known as the Italian Regiment [included up to six hundred soldiers, under the command of a tribune].

10:2 He and all his family were [1] devout and [2] God-fearing [a seeker, one sincerely desiring to follow God; Gentile who attended synagogue, followed Jewish laws, but was not circumcised]; he [3] gave generously to those in need [Cornelius put his faith into action] and [4] prayed to God regularly [possibly for guidance about the way of salvation (cf. Acts 11:14)].

10:3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

10:4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.

10:5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.

10:6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

10:7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants.

10:8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

10:9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.

10:10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.

10:11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.

10:12 [cf. Acts 11:6] It contained all kinds of four-footed animals [included clean and unclean animals; cf. Lev. 11; generally speaking, animals which chewed the cud or which had cloven hoofs were considered clean], as well as reptiles [considered unclean] of the earth and birds of the air [considered unclean].

10:13 [cf. Acts 11:7] Then a voice [from heaven; the “Lord” as per verse 14] told him [this command must have perplexed Peter], “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat [from among the animals in the sheet].”

10:14 [cf. Acts 11:8] “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean [Peter had adhered strictly to the dietary laws outlined in the Scriptures; these food laws set Israel apart from the rest of the nations (see Lev. 20:24-26)].”

10:15 [cf. Acts 11:9] The voice [God did not accept Peter’s answer] spoke to him a second time [God reissued the command to kill and eat], “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

10:16 [cf. Acts 11:10] This happened three times [cf. Peter denied Jesus three times (Jn. 18:17, 25-27) and Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him three times (Jn. 21:15-17)], and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

10:17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius [cf. Acts 10:5-7] found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate.

10:18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

10:19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you.

10:20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

10:21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”

10:22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.”

10:23 Then Peter [a Jew] invited the men [Gentiles; men sent by Cornelius (10:5)] into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the brothers [six believers (Acts 11:12); would serve as witnesses to what God was about to do in Caesarea] from Joppa went along.

10:24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting [indicates he was confident Peter would come] them and had called together his relatives and close friends.

10:25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.

10:26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

10:27 Talking with him, Peter went inside [suggests that Peter and Cornelius initially talked outside the house; Peter had to overcome prejudice in order to enter home of a Gentile] and found a large gathering of people.

10:28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law [taboo] for a Jew to associate [in such a way as to become ceremonially unclean] with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me [through the vision of the sheet from heaven (Acts 10:9-16)] that I should not call any man impure or unclean.

10:29 So when I was sent for [Acts 10:17-23], I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

10:30 Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes [an angel as per v. 3] stood before me

10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.

10:32 Send to Joppa [a thirty-mile journey] for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’

10:33 So I [Cornelius] sent for you [Peter] immediately [Cornelius wasted no time], and it was good of you to come. Now we [Cornelius had gathered family and friends to hear the gospel] are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded [Cornelius was a military man and here used a military term] you to tell us.”

Note: Cornelius was eager to hear from God. What about you? Do you thirst for God? Are you eager to hear from God and to do His will?

10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize [to perceive; to grasp with the mind] how true it is that God does not show favoritism [literally “acceptor of faces, or persons;” God does not discriminate on the basis of race, rank, or riches]

Note: Ten years after Peter preached his first sermon on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:14-40), he was privileged to preach in the home of Cornelius at what became the Pentecost of the Gentile world. Peter honored Cornelius’ invitation (Acts 10:33) to share the message of salvation (Acts 10:34-43) with those assembled in his home. As a result, all those who heard Peter’s sermon placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, received the Holy Spirit, and were baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

10:35 but accepts men from every nation [men from every nation can be saved even though they are not Jews] who fear him and do what is right.

10:36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

10:37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—

10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

10:39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree,

10:40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.

10:41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

10:42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.

10:43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit [original Pentecost recorded in Acts 2; “Samaritan Pentecost” recorded in Acts 8; this event can be called the “Gentile Pentecost”] came on all who heard the message.

10:45 The circumcised believers [Jewish Christians] who had come with Peter were astonished [beside themselves] that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.

10:46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,

10:47 “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

10:48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

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