Are You Ready?
They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” So they talked together and went inside, where many others were assembled. Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. So I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. Now tell me why you sent for me.” Cornelius replied, “Four days ago I was praying in my house about this same time, three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man in dazzling clothes was standing in front of me. He told me, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God! Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.’ So I sent for you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you.”
(Acts of the Apostles 10:24-33 NLT)
Peter got up the next morning and went north with the three men to Caesarea. Cornelius had called relatives and close friends to his residence to hear the message he was anticipating from God's messenger. Cornelius bowed before Peter to worship him. Peter was immediate and clear in his response. He pulled Cornelius up and told him that he was human just like him and that God alone was worthy of worship. They had a little conversation and then went inside to meet and address the gathered. Peter told the group that it was customarily inappropriate for a Jew to assemble in a home of Gentiles. However, God used the vision Peter had of the dietarily unclean animals on the sheet let down from heaven to teach Peter not to discriminate against the Gentiles (the unclean). Obediently, Peter is in Cornelius' home and asks why he was sent for. Cornelius proceeded to tell him about his experience four days prior with, apparently, an angel. He went on to say that the angel said that God had heard his prayer and was pleased with his compassion to the poor. He, then, was instructed to send for Simon Peter in Joppa at the home of Simon the tanner near the shore. He told Peter that God had something to say to them through him. Cornelius expressed his gratitude for Peter's coming.
Cornelius was truly a fine man. God wanted to further his understanding of the truth, the gospel. Peter was ready and available. Are you?
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Rev. Curtis Norris