Acts 10:1-23 The Message Bible

Peter and Cornelius

10 1  There was a man named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea, captain of the Italian Guard stationed there. 3  He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer. One day about three o'clock in the afternoon he had a vision. An angel of God, as real as his next-door neighbor, came in and said, "Cornelius." 4  Cornelius stared hard, wondering if he was seeing things. Then he said, "What do you want, sir?" 5  Here's what you are to do. Send men to Joppa to get Simon, the one everyone calls Peter. 6  He is staying with Simon the Tanner, whose house is down by the sea." 7  As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two servants and one particularly devout soldier from the guard. 8  He went over with them in great detail everything that had just happened, and then sent them off to Joppa.

9  The next day as the three travelers were approaching the town, Peter went out on the balcony to pray. It was about noon. 10  Peter got hungry and started thinking about lunch. While lunch was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11  He saw the skies open up. Something that looked like a huge blanket lowered by ropes at its four corners settled on the ground. 12  Every kind of animal and reptile and bird you could think of was on it. 13  Then a voice came: "Go to it, Peter - kill and eat." 14  Peter said, "Oh, no, Lord. I've never so much as tasted food that was not kosher." 15  The voice came a second time: "If God says it's okay, it's okay." 16  This happened three times, and then the blanket was pulled back up into the skies. 17  As Peter, puzzled, sat there trying to figure out what it all meant, the men sent by Cornelius showed up at Simon's front door. 18  They called in, asking if there was a Simon, also called Peter, staying there.

19  Peter, lost in thought, didn't hear them, so the Spirit whispered to him, "Three men are knocking at the door looking for you. 20  Get down there and go with them. Don't ask any questions. I sent them to get you." 21  Peter went down and said to the men, "I think I'm the man you're looking for. What's up?" 22  They said, "Captain Cornelius, a God-fearing man well-known for his fair play - ask any Jew in this part of the country - was commanded by a holy angel to get you and bring you to his house so he could hear what you had to say." 23  Peter invited them in and made them feel at home.

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