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Summary: While Peter was pondering in his heart the vision he had received from the Lord, the servants of Cornelius arrived at the gate and asked for him. Directed by the Spirit he went down from the housetop to greet them.

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April 27, 2014

By: Tom Lowe

Title: Peter Goes with the Men from Cornelius (10:17-22)

Scripture (Acts 10:17-22)

17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,

18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?

22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.

Introduction

While Peter was pondering in his heart the vision he had received from the Lord, the servants of Cornelius arrived at the gate and asked for him. Directed by the Spirit he went down from the housetop to greet them.

Commentary

17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,

At this point, Peter was still in the dark about the meaning of his vision. What possible point could this implied nullification of the food laws have? At that very moment, in marvelous timing and by the coordination of the sovereign God, the answer to his puzzle was beginning to emerge, as Cornelius’ messengers arrived at Simon the tanner’s gate. This is no longer a vision. This is one of those almost amazing declarations of this book, revealing the intimacy of those early disciples and the Lord Jesus.

18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

Now the Spirit spoke to Peter directly. With Cornelius it had been an angel. With Peter’s vision, a voice from heaven. Now it was the Spirit. The Spirit becomes “I” in verse 20 and is believed to be God the Holy Spirit. Previously (vs. 13-15), Peter addressed the voice as “Lord.” [Does Luke intend to distinguish between the “angel” who spoke to Cornelius (v. 3) and the “Spirit” who spoke to Peter?] All three represent the same reality—the direction of God. Nothing was left to chance. All was coordinated by the divine leading. The Spirit directed Peter to the three messengers standing at the gate and identified them as men He had sent.

The expression “doubting nothing” is not forceful enough. “Without hesitation” is another possible meaning, but it means literally “not discriminating.” You will find this expression used again in Acts 11:12{1]. Peter, almost certainly, without the direction of the Spirit, would have allowed his Jewish prejudice and exclusiveness to shut him off from associating with Cornelius.


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