Cornelius' Conversion

Acts 9:32-12:25

932As Peter went throughout all those parts, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, because he was paralyzed. 34Peter said to him,

SIMON PETER

Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed!

Immediately he arose. 35All who lived at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
36Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which when translated, means Dorcas.* This woman was full of good works and acts of mercy which she did. 37In those days, she became sick, and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38As Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men* to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. 39Peter got up and went with them. When he had come, they brought him into the upper room. All the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40Peter sent them all out, and knelt down and prayed. Turning to the body, he said,

SIMON PETER

Tabitha, get up!

She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41He gave her his hand, and raised her up. Calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43He stayed many days in Joppa with a tanner named Simon.
101Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2a devout man, and one who feared God with all his house, who gave gifts for the needy generously to the people, and always prayed to God. 3At about the ninth hour of the day,* he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God coming to him, and saying to him,

AN ANGEL

Cornelius!

4He, fastening his eyes on him, and being frightened, said,

CORNELIUS

What is it, Lord?

He said to him,

AN ANGEL

Your prayers and your gifts to the needy have gone up for a memorial before God. 5Now send men to Joppa, and get Simon, who is also called Peter. 6He lodges with a tanner named Simon, whose house is by the seaside.*

7When the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier of those who waited on him continually. 8Having explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. 9Now on the next day as they were on their journey, and got close to the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray at about noon. 10He became hungry and desired to eat, but while they were preparing, he fell into a trance. 11He saw heaven opened and a certain container descending to him, like a great sheet let down by four corners on the earth, 12in which were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the sky. 13A voice came to him,

GOD

Rise, Peter, kill and eat!

14But Peter said,

SIMON PETER

Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.

15A voice came to him again the second time,

GOD

What God has cleansed, you must not call unclean.

16This was done three times, and immediately the vessel was received up into heaven. 17Now while Peter was very perplexed in himself what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood before the gate, 18and called and asked whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was lodging there. 19While Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him,

GOD

Behold, three* men seek you. 20But arise, get down, and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.

21Peter went down to the men, and said,

SIMON PETER

Behold, I am he whom you seek. Why have you come?

22They said,

CORNELIUS’ MESSENGERS

Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous man and one who fears God, and well spoken of by all the nation of the Jews, was directed by a holy angel to invite you to his house, and to listen to what you say.

23So he called them in and provided a place to stay. On the next day Peter arose and went out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. 24On the next day they entered into Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his relatives and his near friends. 25When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. 26But Peter raised him up, saying,

SIMON PETER

Stand up! I myself am also a man.

27As he talked with him, he went in and found many gathered together. 28He said to them,

SIMON PETER

You yourselves know how it is an unlawful thing for a man who is a Jew to join himself or come to one of another nation, but God has shown me that I shouldn’t call any man unholy or unclean. 29Therefore also I came without complaint when I was sent for. I ask therefore, why did you send for me?

30Cornelius said,

CORNELIUS

Four days ago, I was fasting until this hour, and at the ninth hour,* I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your gifts to the needy are remembered in the sight of God. 32Send therefore to Joppa, and summon Simon, who is also called Peter. He lodges in the house of a tanner named Simon, by the seaside. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ 33Therefore I sent to you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God to hear all things that have been commanded you by God.

34Peter opened his mouth and said,

SIMON PETER

Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism; 35but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him. 36The word which he sent to the children of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all— 37you yourselves know what happened, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses of everything he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they also* killed, hanging him on a tree. 40God raised him up the third day, and gave him to be revealed, 41not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen before by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that this is he who is appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him, that through his name everyone who believes in him will receive remission of sins.

44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word. 45They of the circumcision who believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was also poured out on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in other languages and magnifying God.
Then Peter answered,

SIMON PETER

47Can anyone forbid these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just like us.

48He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay some days. 111Now the apostles and the brothers* who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2When Peter had come up to Jerusalem, those who were of the circumcision contended with him, 3saying,

BELIEVERS IN JERUSALEM

You went in to uncircumcised men, and ate with them!

4But Peter began, and explained to them in order, saying,

SIMON PETER

5I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision: a certain container descending, like it was a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners. It came as far as me. 6When I had looked intently at it, I considered, and saw the four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky. 7I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter, kill and eat!’ 8But I said, ‘Not so, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered into my mouth.’ 9But a voice answered me the second time out of heaven, ‘What God has cleansed, don’t you call unclean.’ 10This was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11Behold, immediately three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent from Caesarea to me. 12The Spirit told me to go with them, without discriminating. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying to him, ‘Send to Joppa, and get Simon, who is called Peter, 14who will speak to you words by which you will be saved, you and all your house.’ 15As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the beginning. 16I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave to them the same gift as us, when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could withstand God?

18When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying,

BELIEVERS IN JERUSALEM

Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life!

19They therefore who were scattered abroad by the oppression that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews only. 20But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists,* preaching the Lord Jesus. 21The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. 22The report concerning them came to the ears of the assembly which was in Jerusalem. They sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch, 23who, when he had come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad. He exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they should remain near to the Lord. 24For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and many people were added to the Lord.
25Barnabas went out to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26When he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they were gathered together with the assembly, and taught many people. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
27Now in these days, prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28One of them named Agabus stood up, and indicated by the Spirit that there should be a great famine all over the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius. 29As any of the disciples had plenty, each determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea; 30which they also did, sending it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. 121Now about that time, King Herod stretched out his hands to oppress some of the assembly. 2He killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. 3When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This was during the days of unleavened bread. 4When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. 5Peter therefore was kept in the prison, but constant prayer was made by the assembly to God for him. 6The same night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Guards in front of the door kept the prison.
7And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side, and woke him up, saying,

AN ANGEL

Stand up quickly!

His chains fell off from his hands. 8The angel said to him,

AN ANGEL

Get dressed and put on your sandals.

He did so. He said to him,

AN ANGEL

Put on your cloak, and follow me.

9And he went out and followed him. He didn’t know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he saw a vision. 10When they were past the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened to them by itself. They went out, and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
11When Peter had come to himself, he said,

SIMON PETER

Now I truly know that the Lord has sent out his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from everything the Jewish people were expecting.

12Thinking about that, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13When Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, she didn’t open the gate for joy, but ran in, and reported that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
15They said to her,

BELIEVERS IN JERUSALEM

You are crazy!

But she insisted that it was so. They said,

BELIEVERS IN JERUSALEM

It is his angel.

16But Peter continued knocking. When they had opened, they saw him, and were amazed. 17But he, beckoning to them with his hand to be silent, declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He said,

SIMON PETER

Tell these things to James, and to the brothers.

Then he departed, and went to another place.
18Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter. 19When Herod had sought for him, and didn’t find him, he examined the guards, and commanded that they should be put to death. He went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there. 20Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. They came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus, the king’s personal aide, their friend, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21On an appointed day, Herod dressed himself in royal clothing, sat on the throne, and gave a speech to them. 22The people shouted,

THE PEOPLE OF TYRE & THE PEOPLE OF SIDON

The voice of a god, and not of a man!

23Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he didn’t give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.
24But the word of God grew and multiplied. 25Barnabas and Saul returned to* Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their service, also taking with them John who was called Mark.

*Acts 9:36 “Dorcas” is Greek for “Gazelle.”
*Acts 9:38 Reading from NU, TR; MT omits “two men”
*Acts 10:3 3:00 PM
*Acts 10:6 TR adds “This one will tell you what it is necessary for you to do.”
*Acts 10:19 Reading from TR and NU. MT omits “three”
*Acts 10:30 3:00 P. M.
*Acts 10:39 TR omits “also”
*Acts 11:1 The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”
*Acts 11:20 A Hellenist is someone who keeps Greek customs and culture.
*Acts 12:25 TR reads “from” instead of “to”

COMMANDS & PROMISES

  • What God-given guidance can you observe in this passage?
  • Put yourself in the passage and envision what it might have been like to receive this guidance. How does this relate to you and your family today?
  • What God-inspired encouragement can you observe in this passage? How can you experience more of this in your own life?
  • Write a poem about what this encouragement means for you.
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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