Sending for Peter
The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean. ” But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven. Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” So Peter went down and said, “I’m the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” So Peter invited the men to stay for the night.Acts 10:9-23
Peter’s Arrival and Cornelius’ Explanation
The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa. They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” they talked together and went inside, where many others were assembled. Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. So I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. Now tell me why you sent for me.” Cornelius replied, “Four days ago I was praying in my house about this same time, three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man in dazzling clothes was standing in front of me. He told me, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God! Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.‘ So I sent for you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you.”Acts 10:23-33
- Why was it that so many others suddenly joined them?
- Why did Peter not go to Cornelius alone and the two men meet? I don’t see why lots of others have to join in.
- Does the word for “worship” actually mean worship? If so it seems a but too much. Was Peter just uncomfortable being worshipped or is was there something more to this?
- Does Cornelius think that Peter was the man in dazzling white from his vision? Is that what was going on and therefore why he worshipped him?
- Why all the repetitions of “you know”? How was Cornelius expected to know?
You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you.Acts 10:28
You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee, after John began preaching his message of baptism. And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.Acts 10:37-38
- Peter said “you know”:- does this mean Peter knew that Cornelius already knew about Jesus before Peter came, or is this just an expression people usually say before telling something, e.g. “you know.. yesterday I watched the solar eclipse and it was amazing!”
- Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. This all seems so formal Ian. Like they are proposing for marriage where all the witnesses of the families have to gather and represent each side of the contract. Is that a hint of what is going on here?
- It’s just amazing to know how God can use everyone and everything to glorify Himself, including Cornelius who was not Jewish. Also, it’s very inspiring to see and learn about Cornelius’ thirst for God’s Word and his eagerness to invite his family and friends so they could also hear about the Good News.
- How is it that Peter went so quickly from being perplexed about the vision to knowing God has told him that he is no longer to think of anyone as impure or unclean? I don’t get the dramatic change in Peter. Please explain.
- I think deep down Peter is still thinking there is a difference between Jews and Gentiles and how he react towards the Gentiles. For example he is willing to stay in Simon the tanner but he is not going to eat what God tell him to eat.
- If Simon the tanner was unclean, Peter should not have been in that Gentile’s house either.
- My question is after this event is Peter going to spread the GOOD News to the Gentiles or this is when God used Paul to spread the GOOD News?
- When I read Gal 2:11-14, this incident happens after Acts 10:9-23. Right?
- Just a thought I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it but I could not help think of the time when Jacob had his vision and the heavens opened and a staircase came down with angels ascending and descending. God revealed the future here to Jacob as he was revealing the future to Peter. Looks like another remez what do you think? All adds to the authority of the moment for Peter.
- I am puzzled by Peter’s comment that Jews were not allowed to enter a Gentile home or ASSOCIATE WITH THEM. The first I accept but not the second. Where does it say in the Law of Moses that they can’t associate?
- Why does Peter say “tell me why you sent for me”? Hasn’t God already told him? Why does he need Cornelius to tell him again?
You all ask so many questions but I did solicit them, didn’t I?
I am pleased because you have picked up on many interesting little items included in the text before us. There are some significant things here. Once again I have gathered your questions together and will work my way through them, some more thoroughly than others. Recently my midnight friend told me he went back into past Gems to see what I had to say about something which puzzled him only to find that I had not commented on that. It was a significant point I admit but I just thought at the time I would ignore it because it would take me another 3 or 4 Gems to deal with and no one had asked about it. I don’t address every potential question that lurks behind the text simply because I want to finish Acts before I die. I am actually thinking after I finish Acts that I will stop writing Gems. Especially considering what I have planned for Acts. Another thing I do is to test readers reactions. I throw out little leading comments to see if people bite and if they don’t I bypass certain issues. Gems after all are interactive and I do try to sense where your interest lies and where it doesn’t.
Suffice to say you have some more things to ponder before the next Gem and you have been made aware what I intend to comment on in this passage before us now.
Don’t sit there uninvolved, you need to add your Amen to the faith of the body. The important thing is to be part of the body.Anon
The disciples belonged before they believed. Belong – Believe – Behave.Anon
If you don’t develop faith you’re just warming up a pew! You come to church to get the WORD!T D Jakes
The Bible begins with a marriage (Adam & Eve) and ends with a marriage (Christ & his people). The former is the trailer for the latter!T D Jakes
Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.Thomas Jefferson