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Peter And The Roman Officer

While Peter was going through the whole country, he stayed for a long
time at Joppa, in the house of Simon, a tanner.

Cornelius, the captain of the Italian guard, lived in Caesarea. He was a
righteous man and he and all his household worshipped God. He gave many
gifts to the poor people, and prayed to God at all times.

One day, about three o'clock in the afternoon, Cornelius had a vision;
and he saw an angel of God coming and saying to him, "Cornelius."
Looking straight at him, although he was afraid, Cornelius said, "What
is it, Lord?" The angel said to him, "Your prayers and your gifts to the
poor are pleasing to God. Now send men to Joppa, and bring a certain
Simon, whose other name is Peter. He is staying with Simon, a tanner,
whose house is by the seaside." When the angel who spoke to him had gone
away, Cornelius called two of his household servants, and a trusted
soldier who constantly waited on him. After he had explained everything
to them, he sent them to Joppa.

On the next day, about noon, as they were on their way, and were coming
near to Joppa, Peter went up to the housetop to pray. While he was
praying, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having found the way to
Simon's house, stood before the gate, and called out to ask whether
Simon, whose other name was Peter, was staying there. The Spirit said to
Peter, "See, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down, and do not
hesitate to go with them; for I have sent them." So Peter went down to
the men and said, "I am the man you are looking for; what do you want?"
They said, "Cornelius, a captain of the guard, a righteous man and one
who worships God and is well spoken of by all the Jews, was told by a
holy angel to send for you and ask you to come to his house, that he may
hear what you have to say." So Peter invited them in and they stayed all

The next day he rose and went with them, and some of the disciples from
Joppa went with him. The next day after that, they reached Caesarea.
Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his relatives and
his near friends. When Peter came in, Cornelius met him and fell down at
his feet and worshipped him. But Peter said, "Stand up, I am only a man,
like you." After he had talked with him, he went in, and found many
people there. Then Cornelius said, "Just four days ago, in the
afternoon, I was praying in my house, when a man stood before me in
bright clothing, and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your
gifts to the poor are pleasing to God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call
for Simon, whose other name is Peter; he is staying in the house of
Simon, a tanner, by the seaside.' So I sent to you at once; and you have
done well in coming. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of
God, to listen to whatever the Lord has commanded you to say."

Peter said, "I see, truly, that God shows no partiality; but in every
nation, the man who reveres him, and does what is right, is pleasing to

While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit filled all those who
heard the word. And the Jewish disciples who came with Peter were
amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on those who
were not Jews. For the Jews heard them shout and praise God. Then Peter
said, "Can any one refuse to baptize those who, as well as we, have
received the Holy Spirit?" And he commanded that they be baptized in the
name of Jesus Christ. Then they begged him to stay with them several

When Peter came up to Jerusalem, the Jewish followers of Jesus found
fault with him for preaching to those who were not Jews. But Peter
explained the matter to them, saying, "I was in the city of Joppa
praying; and while I was praying, three men stood before the house in
which we were staying, having been sent to me from Caesarea. And the
Spirit told me to go with them, even though they were not Jews. These
six brothers here went with me also; and we went into the man's house.
He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying,
'Send to Joppa, and bring Simon, whose other name is Peter, who shall
tell you certain things through which you and your whole family shall be
saved.' As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came upon them, even as on
us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said,
'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the
Holy Spirit.' If then God gave to them the like gift as he gave also to
us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could
stand against God?" When they heard these things, they stopped finding
fault, and praised God, saying, "Then also to those who are not Jews,
God has given, that they may turn from their wicked deeds and live."

Next: Peters Escape From Prison

Previous: Philip And The Ethiopian

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