What does Acts 11:11 mean?
ESV: And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea.
NIV: "Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying.
NASB: And behold, at that moment three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea came up to the house where we were staying.
CSB: At that very moment, three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were.
NLT: Just then three men who had been sent from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were staying.
KJV: And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
NKJV: At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea.
Verse Commentary:
Peter is in the middle of telling the story of a vision he had, one which resulted in the unprecedented act of a Jewish apostle eating with Gentiles. God had explained to Peter that the Mosaic laws against eating certain foods has been annulled. As Jesus had said, food merely goes in the mouth and comes out the other end; it is the heart that contains the foolish, evil, and selfish attitudes that make a person unclean (Mark 7:14–23).

God gave Peter a vision to tell him the Mosaic laws regarding clean and unclean food are revoked (Acts 10:9–16). Barely had the vision finished when three strangers came to the house where Peter was staying. They had come to Joppa, near modern-day Tel Aviv, from Caesarea Maritima, thirty-five miles north. One was a soldier, assigned to a cohort in King Agrippa I's capital city. Cornelius, a centurion, had sent them after being instructed by an angel (Acts 10:1–8, 17–23).

Years before, Peter had watched as Jewish elders approached Jesus with a similar request. A centurion, who was well respected by the Jewish community, needed Jesus to heal his servant. The centurion represented the Roman empire and the pagan Gentiles who occupied the land promised by God to Abraham's descendants. Jesus, so Peter thought, was the Jewish Messiah come to raise an army and defeat all who oppressed the Jews. But Jesus willingly healed the servant and even praised the centurion's faith (Luke 7:1–10).

Peter followed the Holy Spirit's direction and followed the men to the centurion's house not to heal a broken body but to share the story of Jesus with a houseful of people (Acts 10:17–43). As he was speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles, and Jesus healed their eternal hearts (Acts 10:44–48). Peter didn't eat with "uncircumcised men"; he ate with fellow Jesus-followers.
Verse Context:
Acts 11:1–18 describes Peter defending his actions in Acts 10. The Holy Spirit led him to share Jesus' story with a house filled with Gentiles. As he had barely started, the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles and Peter had them baptized into the church. Now, he has returned to the church in Jerusalem and has some explaining to do. Despite Peter being the most prominent of Jesus' twelve disciples, the legalistic Jews have already gained significant influence in the church. It's a good reminder we must always follow God and be ready to defend our response to His leading.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 11 accelerates the journey of the message of Jesus into the Gentile world. Peter returns to Jerusalem and explains to the church leaders how the Holy Spirit has fallen on a group of Gentiles in Caesarea Maritima (Acts 11:1–18). Then the church hears how Gentiles are coming to faith far north in Syrian Antioch; they send Barnabas to investigate and Barnabas brings in Saul (Acts 11:19–26). Finally, prophets travel from Jerusalem to Antioch to request aid for the Jerusalem church (Acts 11:27–30). The scene is almost set for Paul's extensive evangelism career to begin.
Chapter Context:
Until the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 7:54–60), the story of Jesus' followers remained mostly in Jerusalem. Saul started persecuting the church and the members fled, taking Jesus' story with them. This included Philip who shared Jesus' story with Samaritans and an Ethiopian official (Acts 8). Saul's persecution even led to his own conversion (Acts 9). And Peter brought the gospel to a group of Gentiles (Acts 10). After one more story about Peter and rising persecution by the Roman government, the book of Acts will turn to Saul, who will use the Greek variation of his name, Paul, and his missionary journeys to southeast Europe.
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 6/13/2024 12:16:38 PM
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