Acts 10:9-33 (JDV)
Acts 10:9 The next day, as they were traveling and nearing the city, Peter went up to pray on the roof about noon.
Acts 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing something, a condition of ecstasy came over him.
Acts 10:11 He observed the sky opened and an object that resembled a large sheet coming down, being lowered by its four corners to the land.
Acts 10:12 In it were all the four-footed animals and reptiles of the land, and the birds of the sky.
Acts 10:13 A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.”
Acts 10:14 “Certainly not, Lord!” Peter said. “because I have never eaten anything impure and ritually unclean.”
Acts 10:15 Again, a second time, the voice said to him, “What God has made clean, do not call impure.”
Acts 10:16 This happened three times, and suddenly the object was picked up into the sky.
Acts 10:17 While Peter was deeply perplexed about what the vision he had seen might mean. He noticed that the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions to Simon’s house, stood at the gate.
Acts 10:18 They called out, asking if Simon, who was also named Peter, was lodging there.
Acts 10:19 While Peter was thinking about the vision, the Breath told him, “Notice, three men are here looking for you.
Acts 10:20 Get up, go downstairs, and go with them with no doubts at all, because I have sent them.”
Acts 10:21 Then Peter went down to the men and said, “Notice, I am, the one you’re looking for. What is the reason you’re here?”
Acts 10:22 They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is testified about by the whole Jewish nation, was divinely directed by a sacred agent to call you to his house and to hear a message from you.”
Acts 10:23 Peter then invited them in and gave them lodging. The next day he got up and set out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went with him.
Acts 10:24 The following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
Acts 10:25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him.
Acts 10:26 But Peter raised him up and said, “Stand up. I myself am also a man.”
Acts 10:27 While talking with him, he went in and found a large gathering of people.
Acts 10:28 Peter said to them, “You know it’s forbidden for a Jewish man to stick with or visit a foreigner, but God has shown me that I must not call any person impure or unclean.
Acts 10:29 That’s why I came without any objection when I was sent for. So may I ask why you sent for me?”
Acts 10:30 Cornelius replied, “Four days ago at this hour, at three in the afternoon, I was praying in my house. I noticed a man in dazzling clothing stood before me
Acts 10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your acts of charity have been remembered in God’s sight.
Acts 10:32 Therefore send someone to Joppa and invite Simon here, who is also named Peter. He is lodging in Simon the tanner’s house by the sea.’
Acts 10:33 So I immediately sent for you, and it was good of you to come. So now we are all in the presence of God to hear everything you have been commanded by the Lord.”
One of the things I love about the book of Acts is that the stories show how God removes the barriers to the accomplishment of his mission. Peter’s vision of the animals set him up for the visit by the delegation at his door. Cornelius’ visit by the agent (angel) informs him of Peter’s existence, and prompts him to send for Peter. Cornelius responded to the divine direction not only personally, but he also had invited relatives and friends.
It is important to note that all these things happened because God had a plan to reach Caesarea with the gospel, and through them, other Gentile lands as well. The more tuned in we are to God’s mission, the more incidents of divine direction we can expect.
Lord, direct us today to those who want to hear your gospel.