And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
The drive from Joppa (or Jaffa) to Caesarea is about 1.5 hours. I have to wonder how long it took for Peter with this Italian soldier escort to travel to Cornelius’ house. This was not a “day trip” as it is described as today, but I imagine that it was quite the experience as Peter was doing something he had never done before…traveling with Romans without being arrested.
When Cornelius meets Peter, he falls at Peter’s feet. Cornelius asks Peter to basically preach to him and his household. Peter makes the great statement in verse 34-35 that “God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” Other Jews were in the attendance because verse 44-45, those of the circumcision (the Jewish believers) were shocked that the Gentiles were filled with the Holy Spirit. Revival broke out and Peter baptized the believing Gentiles.
The response of the Gentiles shocked the believing Jews. It is so precious and amazing when a lost soul comes to know the Lord and the Holy Spirit is evident in a new believer’s life. Are you fearing God and working righteousness? Are you asking the Holy Spirit to fill you so others can see Jesus in you?
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
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