What does Acts 10:24 mean?
ESV: And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
NIV: The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
NASB: On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
CSB: The following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
NLT: They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
KJV: And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
NKJV: And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends.
Verse Commentary:
Cornelius is a centurion of the Italian Cohort stationed in Caesarea Maritima, the headquarters of Herod Agrippa I, king over Judea and Samaria. Cornelius worships the God of the Jews and is known throughout the city for his charity and his constant prayer. While he is praying one day, an angel tells him to send for Peter and that Peter will have a message for him. Cornelius sends two servants and another soldier who find Peter in Joppa, thirty-five miles south. The Holy Spirit has told Peter the men are looking for him and that he is to go with them (Acts 10:1–23).

It's possible this scenario reminded Peter of another event, at nighttime, in the garden of Gethsemane. At that time, servants and soldiers of the Sanhedrin had taken Jesus, who seemed to know what was about to happen, and delivered Him to be crucified (John 18:1–11). This may also remind Peter of what Jesus told him after the resurrection. He said that one day, men would take Peter where he did not want to go, that he will "stretch out your hands," meaning, Peter will be crucified (John 21:18). Church tradition says Peter was crucified and chose to be positioned upside-down so he would not die in the same manner as his Savior.

It's unclear what Peter is thinking right now. He hasn't done anything to attract the attention of the Romans, and the Sanhedrin has been quiet since Saul switched sides and is now a Jesus-follower (Acts 9:17–19). Likely, Peter is thinking about the strange vision he had the day before, of the voice of God telling him all foods were made clean. Peter will soon realize God wasn't merely talking about shrimp and rabbit, but about people.

Caesarea Maritima, one of several cities named after a Caesar, is on the coast of Samaria and is one of the few natural harbors in Jewish territory. After Philip followed the Holy Spirit's instruction to go to Judea and talk with the Ethiopian official, he found himself in Azotus, on the coast of Judea, and worked his way north to Caesarea, sharing Jesus' story as he traveled (Acts 8:40). Years later, Paul will visit him and his daughters there on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 21:8–9).
Verse Context:
Acts 10:24–33 describes the onset of the last step of Jesus' command for the disciples: to share His story in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Upon an angel's prompting, a Roman centurion named Cornelius has sent for Peter. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit has been teaching Peter that Gentiles are no longer unclean (Acts 10:1–23). Peter will go to Cornelius and bear witness of Jesus. Everyone in earshot will believe Peter and receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:34–48). The way will be open for Paul's ministry in Syria, modern-day Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece, and Italy.
Chapter Summary:
Peter has been a dominant voice in the spread of Jesus' message to Jews and proselytes. Now he brings the gospel to Gentiles. An angel tells Cornelius, a centurion, to ask Peter to come to him. Peter is praying when he receives a vision of food—including non-kosher food—and God's voice telling him to eat. When the centurion's messengers arrive, Peter realizes the dream meant that Gentiles are no longer unclean. He follows the messengers and tells Cornelius' household about salvation through Jesus. Before Peter can lay his hands on them or baptize them, the Holy Spirit falls on them.
Chapter Context:
Jesus told the disciples they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Oddly, the disciples didn't understand this meant the Holy Spirit would come upon Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles alike. After several years reaching Jews and proselytes in Jerusalem (Acts 1—7) and Samaritans in Samaria (Acts 8:4–25), God calls Peter to bring the message to Gentiles. Peter's witness that Gentiles can be saved (Acts 11) clears the way for Paul's ministry to Gentiles in modern-day Turkey, Greece, and Italy (Acts 13—28).
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 5/26/2024 10:20:23 AM
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