In Caesarea, there was an important Roman army officer named Cornelius. Although he was not a Jew, the Jews respected him. He generously helped poor and needy people. Cornelius believed in Jehovah and prayed to him continually. One day, an angel appeared to Cornelius and said: ‘God has heard your prayers. Now send men to the city of Joppa, where Peter is staying, and ask him to come to you.’ Immediately, Cornelius sent three men to Joppa, about 30 miles to the south.
Meanwhile, in Joppa, Peter had a vision. He saw animals that Jews were not allowed to eat, and he heard a voice telling him to eat. Peter refused, saying: ‘But I have never eaten an unclean animal in my life.’ The voice then told him: ‘Do not call these animals unclean. God has made them clean.’ Peter was also told: ‘There are three men at your door. Go with them.’ Peter went to the door and asked the men why they were there. They answered: ‘We have been sent by Cornelius, a Roman army officer. You are to come to his house in Caesarea.’ Peter invited the men to stay overnight as his guests. The next day, he went with them to Caesarea, together with some brothers from Joppa.
When at last Cornelius saw Peter, he got down on his knees. But Peter said: ‘Get up! I am a man just like you. God told me to come to your house, even though Jews do not go into the homes of Gentiles. Now please tell me why you sent for me.’
Cornelius told Peter: ‘Four days ago I was praying to God, and an angel told me to send for you. Please teach us the words of Jehovah.’ Peter said: ‘I have learned that God is not partial. He accepts anyone who wants to worship him.’ Peter taught them many things about Jesus. Then holy spirit came upon Cornelius and those who were there with him, and all of them were baptized.
“In every nation the man who fears [God] and does what is right is acceptable to him.”—Acts 10:35
BIBLE STUDY ACTIVITIES
What important lesson should we learn from Peter’s visit to Cornelius?