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Peter and Cornelius

1In the city of Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius. He was an army officer in the “Italian” group {of the Roman army}.

2Cornelius was a good (religious) man. He and all the other people that lived in his home worshiped the true God. He gave much of his money to help the Jewish poor people. Cornelius prayed to God always.

3One afternoon about three o’clock, Cornelius saw a vision. He saw it clearly. In the vision an angel from God came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

4Cornelius looked at the angel. He became afraid and said, “What do you want, sir?” The angel said to Cornelius, “God has heard your prayers. He has seen the things you give to the poor people. God remembers you.

5Send some men now to the city of Joppa. Send your men to bring back a man named Simon. Simon is also called Peter.

6Simon is staying with a man, also named Simon, who is a leatherworker. He has a house beside the sea.”

7The angel who spoke to Cornelius left. Then Cornelius called two of his servants and a soldier. This soldier was a good (religious) man. The soldier was one of Cornelius’ close helpers.

8Cornelius explained everything to these three men. Then he sent them to Joppa.

9The next day these men came near Joppa. At that time, Peter was going up to the roof to pray. It was about noon.

10Peter was hungry. He wanted to eat. But while they were preparing the food for Peter to eat, a vision came to him.

11He saw something coming down through the open sky. It looked like a big sheet coming down to the ground. It was being lowered to the ground by its four corners.

12Every kind of animal was in it—animals that walk, animals that crawl on the ground, and birds that fly in the air.

13Then a voice said to Peter, “Get up, Peter; kill any of these animals and eat it.”

14But Peter said, “I would never do that, Lord! I have never eaten food that is unholy or not pure.”

15But the voice said to him again, “God has made these things clean (pure). Don’t call them ‘unholy’!”

16This happened three times. Then the whole thing was taken back up into the sky.

17Peter wondered what this vision meant. The men that Cornelius sent had found Simon’s house. They were standing at the door.

18They asked, “Is Simon Peter staying here?”

19Peter was still thinking about the vision. But the Spirit said to him, “Listen! Three men are looking for you.

20Get up and go downstairs. Go with these men and don’t ask questions. I have sent them to you.”

21So Peter went downstairs to the men. He said, “I am the man you are looking for. Why did you come here?”

22The men said, “A holy angel told Cornelius to invite you to his house. Cornelius is an army officer. He is a good man; he worships God. All the Jewish people respect him. The angel told Cornelius to invite you to his house so that he can listen to the things you have to say.”

23Peter asked the men to come in and stay for the night. The next day Peter got ready and went away with the three men. Some of the brothers (believers) from Joppa went with Peter.

24The next day they came into the city of Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them. He had already gathered his relatives and close friends {at his house} .

25When Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him. Cornelius fell down at Peter’s feet and worshiped him.

26But Peter told him to get up. Peter said, “Stand up! I am only a man like you.”

27Peter continued talking with Cornelius. Then Peter went inside and saw a large group of people together there.

28Peter said to the people, “You people understand that it is against our Jewish law for a Jew to associate with or visit any person who is not a Jew. But God has shown me that I should not call any person ‘unholy’ or ‘not clean.’

29That is why I did not argue when the men asked me to come here. Now, please tell me why you sent for me.”

30Cornelius said, “Four days ago, I was praying in my house. It was at this same time—three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, there was a man (angel) standing before me. He was wearing bright, shiny clothes.

31The man said, ‘Cornelius! God has heard your prayer. God has seen the things you give to the poor people. God remembers you.

32So send some men to the city of Joppa. Ask Simon Peter to come. Peter is staying in the house of a man, also named Simon, who is a leatherworker. His house is beside the sea.’

33So I sent for you immediately. It was very good of you to come here. Now we are all here before God to hear everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

Peter Speaks in the House of Cornelius

34Peter began to speak: “I really understand now that to God every person is the same.

35And God accepts any person who worships him and does what is right. It is not important what country a person comes from.

36God has spoken to the Jewish people. God sent them the Good News that peace has come through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lord (Ruler) of all people!

37You know what has happened all over Judea. It began in Galilee after John told the people they needed to be baptized.

38You know about Jesus from Nazareth. God made him the Christ by giving him the Holy Spirit and power. Jesus went everywhere doing good things for people. Jesus healed the people that were ruled by the devil. This showed that God was with Jesus.

39We saw all the things that Jesus did in Judea and in Jerusalem. We are witnesses. But Jesus was killed. They put him on a cross made of wood.

40But, on the third day {after his death}, God raised Jesus to life! God let people see Jesus clearly.

41But Jesus was not seen by all the people. Only the witnesses that God had already chosen saw him. We are those witnesses! We ate and drank with Jesus after he was raised from death.

42Jesus told us to go and speak to the people. He told us to tell them that he is the One that God chose to be the Judge of all people that are living and all people that have died.

43Every person who believes (trusts) in Jesus will be forgiven. God will forgive the sins of that person through the name of Jesus. All the prophets say this is true.”

The Holy Spirit Comes to Non-Jews

44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came down on all those people who were listening to his speech.

45The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed. They were amazed that the Holy Spirit was poured out (given) to the non-Jewish people too.

46These Jewish believers heard them speaking different languages and praising God. Then Peter said,

47“We cannot refuse to allow these people to be baptized in water. They have received the Holy Spirit the same as we did!”

48So Peter commanded that Cornelius and his relatives and friends be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then the people asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

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