What does Acts 10:34 mean?
ESV: So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,
NIV: Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism
NASB: Opening his mouth, Peter said: 'I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,
CSB: Peter began to speak: "Now I truly understand that God doesn't show favoritism,
NLT: Then Peter replied, 'I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.
KJV: Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Verse Commentary:
Peter is in Caesarea Maritima, the Roman capital of Samaria and Judea, in the home of a Roman centurion, Cornelius. Peter is facing a crowd of Cornelius' soldiers, family, friends, and household members, as well as six Jesus-followers from Joppa (Acts 11:12). Two day before, he'd had a strange vision wherein God repealed the kosher food laws (Acts 10:9–16). Moments before, Cornelius related the story that an angel told Cornelius—a Gentile—to listen to what Peter had to say (Acts 10:30–33).

Peter had seen Jesus care for a Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24–30), speak kindly with a Samaritan woman (John 4:1–45), and even praise a trusting centurion (Matthew 8:5–13). Peter had even watched the Holy Spirit fall on a town full of Samaritans (Acts 8:14–17). But the Syrophoenician woman and the centurion were secondary tasks in Jesus' overall public ministry to Jews, and Samaritans are part Jewish.

Now, Peter begins to understand. All those events in Jesus' ministry when He focused on the marginalized, the "unclean," and the foreigners weren't additions to or distractions from the mission—they are the mission. Jesus came for Jews and Samaritans and Gentiles.

When a passage says the speaker "opened his mouth" (Matthew 5:2), it means they said something important. The next sentence Peter says is the start of the international church.
Verse Context:
Acts 10:34–43 describes the first group of Gentiles receiving salvation. A Roman centurion in the Roman capital of Caesarea Maritima has filled his house with friends and family to hear from Peter, one of the leaders of a new Jewish sect. As a God-fearing Gentile in Samaria, the centurion knows about the prophets and the events around Jesus' ministry and crucifixion. He apparently needs to know about the resurrection and Jesus' role in God's plan of forgiveness. Before Peter is even finished speaking, the Holy Spirit falls on the group, and the era of Gentile Jesus-followers begins.
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 4/17/2024 11:58:44 PM
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