Peter Visited Cornelius
“It is God who is working in you… according to His good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
The apostle Peter preached and taught boldly after Pentecost. Jesus had commanded His followers to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Acts 10 shows us how God made clear to Peter that the gospel is for everyone—not only the Jews but also the Gentiles.
The story begins in Caesarea (SESS uh REE uh), the capital city in the Roman province of Judea. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, lived in Caesarea. Like many of the people in Caesarea, Cornelius was a Gentile; however, he did not worship the Roman gods. Cornelius worshiped the one true God, and one day, God spoke to Cornelius in a vision. In the vision, an angel told Cornelius to send for Peter.
Now Peter was in Joppa (JAHP uh), about 30 miles south of Caesarea. As Cornelius’s men approached the city, Peter had a vision too. He was on a rooftop when God showed him a sheet of animals and commanded him to eat. The problem was that some of the animals were considered “unclean” by Jewish food laws. Three times, God said to Peter, “What God has made clean, do not call impure.”
Peter visited Cornelius and others who had gathered with him. Peter understood that God did not want a Jewish man to call anyone unclean just because he was a foreigner. (See Acts 10:28-29.) Peter preached the gospel to the Gentiles there, and they believed. The Holy Spirit filled them, and they were baptized.
The gospel is good news for everyone. As you teach kids, emphasize that God showed Peter that just as there is no “clean” and “unclean” food, there are no “clean” and “unclean” people. God calls believers to tell everyone the good news about Jesus, no matter who they are or where they come from. Jesus is the Lord of all.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
KEY PASSAGE: Philippians 2:13
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
BIBLE STORY: PETER VISITED CORNELIUS
- An angel told Cornelius to send some men to find Peter.
- God gave Peter a vision.
- Peter learned the gospel is for all people.
- Peter told Cornelius, his family, and his friends about Jesus.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Why do you think God gave Peter the vision before Cornelius’s men arrived?
- Whom are some people we might think the good news is NOT for?
- For whom is the good news about Jesus?
- Ask family members to identify someone they do not get along with. Remind each other that the good news is for that person too. Challenge family members to pray for that person throughout the week.
NEXT WEEK “Paul’s Conversion and Baptism” (Acts 9:1-25)