This is one of the game changers stories in the Bible. Peter was doing His ministry with a grateful heart. Then one day God calls Him to change the ministry of the church forever. Remember, when Jesus ascended, he told the disciples they would be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and then to the ends of the earth. Luke was careful to document the spreading of the Gospel in Jerusalem, Judea and of course Phillip’s revival in Samaria. Now in Joppa, Cornelius was seeking to know God in a personal way. God told Cornelius to send men to Joppa to Simon the Tanner’s House–Cornelius immediately obeyed God.
Peter was given the vision of God presenting every form of non-kosher food known to man. Peter a devout Jewish believer, refused to touch any of the food. Three times God presented the non-kosher food and reminded Peter what God made clean was clean indeed. It was the reminder that God and His grace was what made all clean. It was not the keeping of traditions or dietary laws, instead it was simply His grace that covered our sin. It is significant that Peter, the one Jesus used to propel the movement of the Gospel initially in Jerusalem to now lead the charge to the end of the earth.
Peter did not expect to be the missionary to the gentile world. Still God knew Peter needed to look past His Jewish community if the church was to grow to the ends of the earth. We are so blessed that God saw fit to move past His chosen people to allow salvation to anyone who would believe. It was as simple as Paul indicated in Romans 1:16, Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, it is the power of God to salvation for anyone who would believe FIRST TO THE JEWS AND THEN TO THE GENTILES” It is critical that we remember that what God told Peter holds true today–What God calls clean, NO man should consider common! It is a promise that gives each sinful person hope for salvation and eternal life with God!
God Bless You
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day[a] he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, 8 and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour[b] to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.