Peter Meets Corneilius

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Prejudice

As we read this passage we must remember that the Jews believed that other nations were outside the mercy of God. The really strict Jew would have no contact with a Gentile, or even with a Jew, who did not observe the Law. In particular he would never have a guest nor ever be the guest of a man, who did not observe the Law. Cornelius asked them in and gave them hospitality (vv. 23-26). When Peter arrived at Caesarea, Cornelius met him at the door, no doubt wondering if Peter would cross his threshold at all, and Peter came in (vv. 27-29). In an amazing way the prejudices were being broken down.

Cornelius’ close friends and relatives were waiting to meet and hear Peter. He had great faith to have called together these people to hear someone he had never met before. Cornelius came to meet Peter and fell down at his feet as if to worship him. However, Peter took his hand and raised him up; then told him not to knell before him. He emphasized the fact that he was a man just like Cornelius and not to be worshiped. Peter then stood before the crowd of people and told how, by tradition, the Jews had nothing to do with anyone who was not a Jew, but God had showed him that he was not to feel that way anymore. That was the reason he had come to them as they had asked.

Then Peter asked why they had sent for him. Cornelius told how four days before, while he was praying in his house, a man in shining clothes, stood before him and told him to send for Peter, and that he would tell, him what he needed to know(vv. 30-33). Cornelius told Peter, that he had sent for him and was glad he’d come. Now they were all ready for a message.

Application

We (Jews and Gentiles) become God’s child by being born into His family. I was born-again by hearing God’s Word, believing it, and opening my heart to receive Him.

Acts 10:23-33 (English Standard Version)

So he invited them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man." And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me." And Cornelius said, "Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.' So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord."

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