GOSPEL MEDITATION # 32
Peter & Cornelius & Peter’s Vision, part 1
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- From memory, determine the central points.
- Caesarea, 30 miles NW of Joppa, given by Julius Caesar in 47 BC to Herod the Great who built it into a magnificent city; the Roman governors, (like Pilate) of Judea lived there.
- Cornelius, a Gentile, one of the commanders of the Italian Cohort (1/6 to 1/10th of a legion) commanded 100 soldiers. He was a God fearer; he worshipped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
- He prayed to God, gave alms, was well respected, and God heard his prayer.
- At 3pm, one of the three traditional times of Jewish prayer, he has a vision. He is mindful and awake—no trance state. An angel gives him instructions—he is to send for Peter in Joppa.
- Peter, amazingly is actually staying with Simon the tanner, against all Jewish sensibilities. Religious and cultural walls are coming down.
- Peter, in Joppa, at noon time, another time of Jewish time of prayer, has a vision also. Again Peter is fully aware, and he sees something like a “great sheet” being lowered with animals, reptiles, and birds in it. This happens three times.
- Peter hears a voice telling him, “Rise, Peter, kill and eat.” And Peter protests, much like the Prophet Ezekiel did per Ezekiel 4:14.
- In both Deuteronomy 14 and Leviticus 11 is listed clean and unclean animals. As a Jewish man, Peter is not allowed to eat certain “unclean” creatures he sees in the vision.
- Then, in the midst of Peter’s protest, God reveals to him, “What God has made clean, do not call common,” which echoes what we find in Mark 7:19. Cornelius the Gentile, is clean.