Online Bible Commentary
Stand up; I Myself am also a Man
Acts 10:24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself am also a man." 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?" 30 So Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.' 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God." (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. An angel instructs Cornelius, in a vision, to send his men to Joppa to bring Peter to minister to him in Caesarea. Just as the men were arriving in Joppa, Peter had been given a vision from God that he should no longer observe the Jewish food laws regarding not eating unclean animals.
Now, Peter, some other disciples, and Cornelius’ men have reached the home of Cornelius in Caesarea (v. 24a). Cornelius “had called together his relatives and close friends” to hear what this messenger from God had to say (v. 24b).
As Peter was entering his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him but Peter lifted him up saying "Stand up; I myself am also a man" (vv. 25-26). As he said this Peter entered the home and saw the many friends and family of Cornelius (v. 27).
Peter then addressed the gathering saying "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me" (vv. 28-29). Through Peter’s vision God showed him that just as he should not call any animals unclean or common he should also not call any man, even a Gentile, unclean or common.
Cornelius then responded with his reason for sending for Peter. He told of the vision from the angel four days earlier as he was praying and fasting (v. 30). Cornelius said that the angel told him that God had heard his prayer and seen his kindness to the poor (v.31). God only hears prayers from unbelievers if they are seeking a relationship with Him, so Cornelius’ prayer was obviously understood by God as being from one who was seeking the true God.
Cornelius continued his response to Peter by describing how the angel told him to send for him (v. 32). He then thanked Peter for coming and completed his response with “we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God” (v. 33).
Peter and the apostles were always careful to keep the focus not on themselves but on the Lord. Thus when Cornelius fell down and worshiped him Peter said "Stand up; I myself am also a man."
We are to worship the Creator, not the creation. We are not to worship any person, including Mary or the pope. The focus should never be on ourselves, but always on God.