Online Bible Commentary
Acts 10:17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate. 18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. 19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are seeking you. 20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them." 21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, "Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?" 22 And they said, "Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you." 23 Then he invited them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him. (NKJV)
The time was about A.D. 40. The apostle Peter had traveled from his home of Jerusalem northwest through Judea, ministering as he went. Now, Peter is in Joppa, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, having stayed many days to evangelize and disciple.
Meanwhile, Cornelius, a seeker, living about thirty miles up the coast in Caesarea has caught the attention of the Lord. The Lord has chosen Cornelius and his household to become the first Gentile believers. He instructs Cornelius to send his men to Joppa to bring Peter to minister to him in Caesarea.
As Cornelius’ men drew near Joppa, Peter was praying on the rooftop of the home of Simon, the tanner, where he was staying. While he prayed, Peter was given a vision from God. He saw heaven opened and a voice told him it was now acceptable for him to break the Jewish food laws.
Now Peter, as a Jew, knew that he could not eat these “unclean” animals. He expressed his objection to God, not once but three times, and each time God repeated “What God has cleansed you must not call unclean.” Then the vision ends.
In this passage, we see that “Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant” (v.17a). Just then Cornelius” men reached the home and asked if Peter was staying there (vv. 17b-18).
Peter was still thinking about the vision when the Holy Spirit said to him "Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them" (vv. 19-20). Peter then went down from the roof, introduced himself, and asked the men the reason for their visit (v. 21).
The men responded "Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you" (v. 22). Peter then invited the men to spend the night and the next morning they, and a few other disciples from Joppa, headed out for Caesarea (v. 23).
How easily Peter accepted the invitation from these strangers. He only had a few moments to decide if he should go with them. It would be normal for Peter to have doubts about this strange situation. If nothing else, he may have wanted some time to ponder how the vision fit in with the request to visit the Gentile Cornelius. But the Holy Spirit had told him to go “doubting nothing”, and Peter obeyed.
Peter’s obedience should be an example for us all. Our hearts should always be open to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. We should always be ready for new assignments from the Lord. We should always be of the mind to obey, “doubting nothing”, and follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit.