Our text comes from Acts 10:1-33.
Vs. 1 Caesarea – a strong city, fortified by Herod the Great. The city was named Caesarea in honor of Augustus Caesar.
Caesarea is 31 miles north of Joppa, where Peter is currently staying. It is a coastal city. It provided easy access to and from Rome. The Roman governor or proconsul usually resided there.
Cornelius is a centurion – a commander of 100 men. A cohort consisted of 600 men led by six centurions.
Vs. 2 Cornelius has not heard the gospel yet. How is it that he fears God? He has heard of the Temple and of God. So he begins to follow the teachings and lead his family to do the same. There is no relationship with Jesus. Cornelius is not saved.
Vs. 3-8 God sends an angel to Cornelius and tells him to send for Peter. The angel could have easily talked to Cornelius about Jesus. But that was not God’s plan. God’s plan was to use Peter because God needed to work in Peter.
Vs. 9-16 Peter has a problem. The law says one thing. God is telling him something different. Peter had always followed traditions, customs, and rules. Now, he is having a hard time wrapping his mind around what God is telling him to do.
There is no place for racism or prejudice in the gospel. The gospel is for all ears that would hear it.
Romans 3:11 “No one understands. No one seeks for God.”
John 6:44 says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:29, My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
vs. 17-26 Peter does not yet understand? What just happened?
There is a knock at the door.
Peter goes to Caesarea.
Cornelius mistakenly worships Peter. Peter picks him up because you only worship Jesus.
Vs. 27-33 Cornelius explains his dream. Peter realizes why it is that he is there and what the dream meant for the future of the gospel.
Cornelius and everyone in his house is ready to hear what Peter has to say.