Acts 10:1 “…a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment”
Cornelius is a Gentile Roman soldier who is following God as best he can. The Spirit is about to break down another barrier, that of the idea that Gentiles can be saved.
2 “…with all his household…”
The hearts of all in his household were open to God.
7 “…a devout soldier…”
Another follower of God. Probably did so from the influence of Cornelius. Such a man wouldn’t question the tale of a vision from God.
9 “…about the sixth hour…”
Noon. Waiting on the servants to prepare lunch.
10 “…he fell into a trance”
Occurred while he was praying at noon. He was busy doing that which he knew to do when God spoke to him. Certainly God can do anything He wishes, but here He appears to make time for Peter as Peter was making time for Him. Perhaps God doesn’t speak to me as much as I want because I don’t make time for Him. Or I insist that He speak when I can work Him in.
14 “…I have never eaten anything common or unclean”
Obviously all the creatures seen were those which the Jews were not supposed to eat by Mosaic law, else he could have picked the clean ones out.
15 “…What God has cleansed you must not call common”
We assume too much. We assume when God speaks that we understand fully what He means or that what He said means more than His words. I wonder how close we get to adding to His words. God told the ancient Israelites not to eat certain foods as He considered them unclean. That was all the reason they needed, but that didn’t necessarily explain everything about the situation. Perhaps God set those rules down to protect them at that time due to their limited knowledge and ability. As He said, what He has cleansed. He can change the situation. What He prevented before He may now allow because of something He did to alter the situation or us. He had the Jews offer sacrifices of goats and bulls to cover sins until He sent Christ who was our ultimate sacrifice. The others are no longer needed. The truth, a sacrifice is needed for redemption, stayed the same, only the method of achieving that truth changed. We must be sure we know the difference. Don’t try to make the method the truth.
19 “…the Spirit said to him…”
Wish I knew exactly how this was done. Were the early believers impressed upon by the Spirit as we are? Did the Spirit speak in their minds? I admit to being envious of Peter’s receptivity to what the Spirit says to him. Have only myself to blame as I don’t focus on Him as much as Peter did. As earlier, don’t make the time as I should. Needs to change. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. I want to be that open to the Spirit.
23 “…some brethren…”
Companions and witnesses.
24 “…had called together his relatives and close friends”
Something important was happening, and he wanted to share it with those he cared about.
25 “…worshiped him”
Simplest explanation of the term. He considered him worthy of respect and honor and expressed it by bowing at his feet.
28 “…how unlawful it is…But God has shown me…”
Even this idea was something that man had added to the actual law of God. God had never actually told them to not associate with Gentiles just because they were Gentiles, but to beware of appropriating the Gentile idolatry. In fact, they were supposed to be sharing God with the Gentiles who came through the land of Israel. There was even a section of the temple where the Gentiles were allowed. Peter is beginning to see the errors of their thinking. How foolish we are when we listen to our own ideas instead of what God has told us.
38 “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power…”
I wonder how much Peter actually understood of Christ at this point. He obviously believed Jesus to be the Messiah as he said so. But I wonder if he fully appreciated that Jesus was an actual person of the Trinity, the Godhead. The words he used here are a bit strange, but they could simply be how he expressed it. The truth is that Jesus is God incarnate. He existed before the physical birth, thus He, in bodily form, was always divine. God didn’t create Him and make Him divine at some point. But I can see how some could get that idea from the words here. Another instance of why we must take in the whole of scripture and not just bits and pieces.
42 “…He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead”
Jesus is the one who determines whether one is condemned to Hell. He is the judge. Discerning whether a person’s actions are right or wrong is not judging them. No determination or conclusive action of their eternal destination is being made, only a warning of the possible results of their actions.
44-46 “…the Holy Spirit fell…those of the circumcision…were astonished…Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also…they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God…”
Another barrier overcome. Jewish witnesses see firsthand how the Spirit has come upon Gentile believers and used the signs that He used in the beginning, namely the speaking of different tongues. There is now no doubt that God intends for all men to be saved, Jew and Gentile alike.
47 “…be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit…”
All believers should be associated with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ by baptism or immersion. It is the public acknowledgment of their acceptance of Him.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.