A servant of the Lord, Cornelius was a Roman army officer stationed in Caesarea, a Roman capital located about 100 miles from Jerusalem. He was visited by an angel and instructed to send out a delegation to Joppa, where his men would find and receive further instruction from Peter, who was staying with a tanner named Simon, outside the sea port city.
“9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.” (Acts 10:9)
Around noon the following day, as Cornelius’ delegation continued their journey to Joppa, the apostle Peter went to the housetop to pray, a flat, uncovered place surrounded by a four foot wall where people would retire for prayer, or use as sleeping quarters during warm summer months.
“10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.” (Acts 10:10-11)
As he prayed, Peter became hungry and drifted into a trance during which he had a vision brought on by the Holy Spirit. The vision indicated to Peter that he was called upon to cross the line of bondage to the Mosaic Law, which he had abided by religiously as a Jew.
“12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.” (Acts 10:12)
In his vision, Peter recognized animals that were both clean and unclean, according to Jewish tradition. God’s plan for the apostle would have Peter cross the treshold he was used to, and become involved with people he normally would not even sit down to eat with, however it became clear Yahweh’s mission did involve for Gentiles to be saved, not only Jews.
“13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” (Acts 10:13)
The voice was undoubtely that of the Lord, meant to authoritatively instruct Peter of what was expected of him in the forthcoming hours and days, as Cornelius’ delegates wwould soon arrive.
“14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” (Acts 10:14)
Peter defends his tradition in accordance with the Mosaic Law, by which certain animals were deemed unclean and eating their flesh was prohibited. To date, the same applied to Peter’s ministry, whereas the apostle focused on the conversion of Jews, not Gentiles.
“15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.” (Acts 10:15-16)
His Jewish tradition deeply rooted within him, Peter resisted the vision until it became clear it was indeed the Lord’s will for him to kill, and eat the flesh of animals. Likewise, the apostle would be called upon to reach over the imaginary line and consider Gentiles, the uncircumcized as part of his ministry. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre