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While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision…

The men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate.

‘They called out, asking if Simon, who was known as Peter, was staying there. While Peter was still thinking about the vision the Spirit said to him “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them for I have sent them.”

Acts 10:18

Peter went down and asked them “Why have you come?”

It’s an obvious and natural question, but because it’s a divine appointment, none of them really know the answer. They’re just all following orders.

The soldier explained that Cornelius had an angelic vision telling him to tell Simon Peter to come to his house, and to hear what he has to say. Given that Peter is used to miraculous and inexplicable things happening, and he’s used to acting in accordance with the Holy Spirits’ guidance, and has faith that it’s all Gods plan, and given that he himself is still digesting a vision of his own, he invited the men into the house to be his guests, and the next day he and six of the brothers from Joppa went with them back to Caesarea, as instructed.

‘The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter entered the house Cornelious met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up, “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

Acts 10:24

Cornelius is evidently less used to this kind of situation than Peter is. And Peter has also arrived at the interpretation of the previous day’s vision.

‘Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was sent for I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you have sent for me?”

Acts 10:27

Given the legality and cultural appropriateness of Jews visiting non Jews, it’s fair to assume that without the vision Peter would have been reluctant at least to visit, especially as no one still seems to know why.

Cornelius passes the buck back to Peter by reiterating his angelic vision to call for him.

“So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

Acts 10:33

‘Then Peter began to speak: “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”

Acts 10:34

Peter goes on to confirm that they know of Jesus Christ

“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.”

Acts 10:36

“You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached; 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.”

Acts 10:37

“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, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 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.”

Acts 10:39

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

Acts 10:42

‘While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they had heard them speaking in tongues and and praising God.’

Acts 10:44

Then Peter said; “Can anyone keep these people from being baptised with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.’

Acts 10:47

To be continued … extract from All People Must Know and The Bible

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NHCC UK | Greenhill Parkway

Sheffield | S8  7JP

Phone  |  07459200418

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