Bible: Acts 10-11
Peter Visits Cornelius
10:1 Now there was a man in Caesarea 1 named Cornelius, a centurion 2 of what was known as the Italian Cohort. 3 10:2 He 4 was a devout, God-fearing man, 5 as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people 6 and prayed to God regularly. 10:3 About three o’clock one afternoon 7 he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God 8 who came in 9 and said to him, “Cornelius.” 10:4 Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius 10 replied, 11 “What is it, Lord?” The angel 12 said to him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity 13 have gone up as a memorial 14 before God. 10:5 Now 15 send men to Joppa 16 and summon a man named Simon, 17 who is called Peter. 10:6 This man is staying as a guest with a man named Simon, a tanner, 18 whose house is by the sea.” 10:7 When the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius 19 called two of his personal servants 20 and a devout soldier from among those who served him, 21 10:8 and when he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
10:9 About noon 22 the next day, while they were on their way and approaching 23 the city, Peter went up on the roof 24 to pray. 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. 25 10:11 He 26 saw heaven 27 opened 28 and an object something like a large sheet 29 descending, 30 being let down to earth 31 by its four corners. 10:12 In it 32 were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 33 of the earth and wild birds. 34 10:13 Then 35 a voice said 36 to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 37 and eat!” 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 38 10:15 The voice 39 spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 40 ritually unclean!” 41 10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 42
10:17 Now while Peter was puzzling over 43 what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was 44 and approached 45 the gate. 10:18 They 46 called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, 47 was staying there as a guest. 10:19 While Peter was still thinking seriously about 48 the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. 10:20 But get up, 49 go down, and accompany them without hesitation, 50 because I have sent them.” 10:21 So Peter went down 51 to the men and said, “Here I am, 52 the person you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 10:22 They said, “Cornelius the centurion, 53 a righteous 54 and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, 55 was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message 56 from you.” 10:23 So Peter 57 invited them in and entertained them as guests.
On the next day he got up and set out 58 with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa 59 accompanied him. 10:24 The following day 60 he entered Caesarea. 61 Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously 62 for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 10:25 So when 63 Peter came in, Cornelius met 64 him, fell 65 at his feet, and worshiped 66 him. 10:26 But Peter helped him up, 67 saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 68 10:27 Peter 69 continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 70 10:28 He said to them, “You know that 71 it is unlawful 72 for a Jew 73 to associate with or visit a Gentile, 74 yet God has shown me that I should call no person 75 defiled or ritually unclean. 76 10:29 Therefore when you sent for me, 77 I came without any objection. Now may I ask why 78 you sent for me?” 10:30 Cornelius 79 replied, 80 “Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock in the afternoon, 81 I was praying in my house, and suddenly 82 a man in shining clothing stood before me 10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity 83 have been remembered before God. 84 10:32 Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, 85 by the sea.’ 10:33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. 86 So now we are all here in the presence of God 87 to listen 88 to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.” 89
10:34 Then Peter started speaking: 90 “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 91 10:35 but in every nation 92 the person who fears him 93 and does what is right 94 is welcomed before him. 10:36 You know 95 the message 96 he sent to the people 97 of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace 98 through 99 Jesus Christ 100 (he is Lord 101 of all) – 10:37 you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 102 10:38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, 103 that 104 God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He 105 went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, 106 because God was with him. 107 10:39 We 108 are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea 109 and in Jerusalem. 110 They 111 killed him by hanging him on a tree, 112 10:40 but 113 God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 114 10:41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, 115 who ate and drank 116 with him after he rose from the dead. 10:42 He 117 commanded us to preach to the people and to warn 118 them 119 that he is the one 120 appointed 121 by God as judge 122 of the living and the dead. 10:43 About him all the prophets testify, 123 that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins 124 through his name.”
The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit
10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on 125 all those who heard the message. 126 10:45 The 127 circumcised believers 128 who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished 129 that 130 the gift of the Holy Spirit 131 had been poured out 132 even on the Gentiles, 10:46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising 133 God. Then Peter said, 10:47 “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, 134 can he?” 135 10:48 So he gave orders to have them baptized 136 in the name of Jesus Christ. 137 Then they asked him to stay for several days.
Peter Defends His Actions to the Jerusalem Church
11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted 138 the word of God. 139 11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, 140 the circumcised believers 141 took issue with 142 him, 11:3 saying, “You went to 143 uncircumcised men and shared a meal with 144 them.” 11:4 But Peter began and explained it to them point by point, 145 saying, 11:5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, 146 an object something like a large sheet descending, 147 being let down from heaven 148 by its four corners, and it came to me. 11:6 As I stared 149 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, 150 and wild birds. 151 11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; slaughter 152 and eat!’ 11:8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord, for nothing defiled or ritually unclean 153 has ever entered my mouth!’ 11:9 But the voice replied a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider 154 ritually unclean!’ 11:10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven again. 11:11 At that very moment, 155 three men sent to me from Caesarea 156 approached 157 the house where we were staying. 158 11:12 The Spirit told me to accompany them without hesitation. These six brothers 159 also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 11:13 He informed us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, 11:14 who will speak a message 160 to you by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 11:15 Then as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on 161 them just as he did 162 on us at the beginning. 163 11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, 164 as he used to say, 165 ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 166 11:17 Therefore if God 167 gave them the same gift 168 as he also gave us after believing 169 in the Lord Jesus Christ, 170 who was I to hinder 171 God?” 11:18 When they heard this, 172 they ceased their objections 173 and praised 174 God, saying, “So then, God has granted the repentance 175 that leads to life even to the Gentiles.” 176
Activity in the Church at Antioch
11:19 Now those who had been scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen 177 went as far as 178 Phoenicia, 179 Cyprus, 180 and Antioch, 181 speaking the message 182 to no one but Jews. 11:20 But there were some men from Cyprus 183 and Cyrene 184 among them who came 185 to Antioch 186 and began to speak to the Greeks 187 too, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus. 11:21 The 188 hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed 189 turned 190 to the Lord. 11:22 A report 191 about them came to the attention 192 of the church in Jerusalem, 193 and they sent Barnabas 194 to Antioch. 195 11:23 When 196 he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain true 197 to the Lord with devoted hearts, 198 11:24 because he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and a significant number of people 199 were brought to the Lord. 11:25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to look for Saul, 11:26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. 200 So 201 for a whole year Barnabas and Saul 202 met with the church and taught a significant number of people. 203 Now it was in Antioch 204 that the disciples were first called Christians. 205
Famine Relief for Judea
11:27 At that time 206 some 207 prophets 208 came down 209 from Jerusalem 210 to Antioch. 211 11:28 One of them, named Agabus, got up 212 and predicted 213 by the Spirit that a severe 214 famine 215 was about to come over the whole inhabited world. 216 (This 217 took place during the reign of Claudius.) 218 11:29 So the disciples, each in accordance with his financial ability, 219 decided 220 to send relief 221 to the brothers living in Judea. 11:30 They did so, 222 sending their financial aid 223 to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.