Peter did the unspeakable ~ at least the unspeakable in his day. He visited with non-Jewish people ~ you know us Gentiles! One thing I love about the Bible is seeing the story unfold. In Acts chapter 10, God is setting up a backdrop that will greatly benefit the Apostle Paul later. Chapter 10 starts out with an angel of God visiting a Roman officer.
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
God also gave Peter a vision ~ or two. The first vision was a sheet that was let down from heaven with all kind of animals, reptiles and birds on it.
“Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
What did Peter do, something he has a lot of practice in ~ he doubted Jesus! Not once, not twice but three times Peter doubted what Jesus was telling him. Not long after this vision, the Spirit said to Peter that some men would be looking for him and that he should go with them. When Cornelius’ soldiers found Peter, he did not hesitate to travel with them. When they arrived at Cornelius’ home, Cornelius and all of his family were eagerly awaiting his arrival. Peter asks why they sent for him and Cornelius explained that the angel of the Lord told him to send for Peter. He said they were all there to hear what the Lord commanded Peter to tell them. You see, Cornelius and his family were “devout and God-fearing” but they did not know Jesus Christ. Peter used this opportunity to spread the good news about Jesus and all who heard were filled with the Holy Spirit. The men that came with Peter were astonished to see that God would pour out the gift of the Holy Spirit on Gentiles. This is our hope in Christ. All we have to do is have a believing heart. God gives generously to those who believe.
Peter put himself in an awkward position by staying and eating with the non-Jewish Cornelius and his family. In Chapter 11 he is asked to explain his actions. Peter explained his vision of the sheet and God’s command to kill and eat. This is the beginning of breaking the mind-set of the law ~ and breaking down the barriers between the Jewish people and the Gentiles.
I mentioned that this visit later helps Paul but we’ll save that for another day. In closing, just remember that God makes no mistakes. You may not know the reason why He may be prompting you to do or not to do something ~ you just need to trust Him.