(1-8) Peter and Cornelius
Cornelius knew about God (general), but he did not yet know God (personal). He feared God, gave generously to others, and prayed continually to God. He was sincerely seeking God in order to have a relationship with Him, and God heard his prayers. Jeremiah 29:13 says that those who seek God, will find Him, when they search for Him with all their heart. God is not far from any of us. If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.
(9-23) Peter’s Vision
God uses a vision to prepare Peter’s heart to go and share the Gospel with Cornelius. At that time, it was not lawful for Jews and Gentiles to meet with one another. Jews saw Gentiles as unclean. Ellicott’s Commentary regarding this passage tells us that a “strict Jew would not enter a Gentile’s house, nor sit on the same couch, nor eat or drink out of the same vessel.” Even the dust of a Gentile city was defiling to a Jew. God, however, shows Peter that He is willing to save all men – Jews and Gentiles, men and women, rich and poor. In His sight, we are all unclean because of sin. We are all in need of redemption, justification, and sanctification.
Favorite verse: (15) And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”