23 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. 24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 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. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”
30 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 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 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.’ 33 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.”
34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and caused him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- v25 “When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him.” Cornelius was a commander in the Roman army, yet he was humbled to worship a foreign commoner. Dear God, this would not have been possible without His trust and devotion to You!
- v26 Peter was certainly not puffed up by Cornelius’ bowing before him. Instead he knew well that his identity was a servant of God, preaching the good news of peace through Jesus Christ. If anyone through preaching the Gospel yet became proud of themselves, the truth is passed on but he himself would have fallen. Beware!
- v27-28 We believe in a God whom prepares the people’s hearts to receive Him. Here we can see how he patiently prepared Peter’s heart and had transformed him from his old thinking and beliefs.
- v33 Cornelius speech was a great example of the kind of attitude we should have when listening to the sermon, ready to receive from Him with an open heart, prompted by the Spirit of understanding.
- vv34-43 Here we could see that Peter succinctly explained the gospel to Cornelius and his family. He did not make any special preparation but only spoke from His heart, which was always prepared to spread the good news. Are we always at the ready, just like Peter?
- v34 “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality.” This indicated that Peter understood how God’s love is for every one, showing no partiality. I have heard of brothers and sisters saying, “He will never believe in God!”, “She can’t possibly be saved!” Who are we to say that if our God is one whom desires for all men to be saved! Our God never thought more or less of anyone by outward appearances and we mustn’t do so ourselves!
- vv46-47 “For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God.” Speaking in tongues is a gift from God, enabling one to speak in another language or dialect but not meaningless syllables or utterances. When the Holy Spirit falls upon some one, the person could be granted the gift of speaking in tongues; but not all spirit-filled person can do so. God had called Peter to be his messenger of good news to the Gentiles. He first prepared him with a vision, then confirmed his calling by revealing the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the Gentiles who believed. As a result, Peter knew it was God’s plan for them to be saved and baptized them!
submitted by Ithiel Kong
PRAYING IN FAITH
Pray that God will grant you a humble and prepared heart, always ready to spread the good news.
For your five
Pray that God will grant each one of them a receptive and obedient heart, ready to receive from Him through personal sharing or by listening to sermons.
For our church
Dear Father, pray that the differences in language, culture, educational background and upbringing will not hinder us from loving one another in this family of Yours! Pray that Your love continue to be the foundation through which we can freely serve and grow in relationship with each other.