The Children's Bible
Peter And The Roman Officer
hile Peter was going through the whole country, he stayed for a long time at Joppa, in the house of Simon, a tanner.
Cornelius, the captain of the Italian guard, lived in Cesarea. He was a righteous man and he and all his household worshipped God. He gave many gifts to the poor people, and prayed to God at all times.
One day, about three o'clock in the afternoon, Cornelius had a vision; and he saw an angel of God coming and saying to him, "Cornelius." Looking straight at him, although he was afraid, Cornelius said, "What is it, Lord?" The angel said to him, "Your prayers and your gifts to the poor are pleasing to God. Now send men to Joppa, and bring a certain Simon, whose other name is Peter. He is staying with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside." When the angel who spoke to him had gone away, Cornelius called two of his household servants, and a trusted soldier who constantly waited on him. After he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
On the next day, about noon, as they were on their way, and were coming near to Joppa, Peter went up to the housetop to pray. While he was praying, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having found the way to Simon's house, stood before the gate, and called out to ask whether Simon, whose other name was Peter, was staying there. The Spirit said to Peter, "See, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down, and do not hesitate to go with them; for I have sent them." So Peter went down to the men and said, "I am the man you are looking for; what do you want?" They said, "Cornelius, a captain of the guard, a righteous man and one who worships God and is well spoken of by all the Jews, was told by a holy angel to send for you and ask you to come to his house, that he may hear what you have to say." So Peter invited them in and they stayed all night.
The next day he rose and went with them, and some of the disciples from Joppa went with him. The next day after that, they reached Cesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his relatives and his near friends. When Peter came in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him. But Peter said, "Stand up, I am only a man, like you." After he had talked with him, he went in, and found many people there. Then Cornelius said, "Just four days ago, in the afternoon, I was praying in my house, when a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your gifts to the poor are pleasing to God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose other name is Peter; he is staying in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the seaside.' So I sent to you at once; and you have done well in coming. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God, to listen to whatever the Lord has commanded you to say."
Peter said, "I see, truly, that God shows no partiality; but in every nation, the man who reveres him, and does what is right, is pleasing to him."
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit filled all those who heard the word. And the Jewish disciples who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on those who were not Jews. For the Jews heard them shout and praise God. Then Peter said, "Can any one refuse to baptize those who, as well as we, have received the Holy Spirit?" And he commanded that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they begged him to stay with them several days.
When Peter came up to Jerusalem, the Jewish followers of Jesus found fault with him for preaching to those who were not Jews. But Peter explained the matter to them, saying, "I was in the city of Joppa praying; and while I was praying, three men stood before the house in which we were staying, having been sent to me from Cesarea. And the Spirit told me to go with them, even though they were not Jews. These six brothers here went with me also; and we went into the man's house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, 'Send to Joppa, and bring Simon, whose other name is Peter, who shall tell you certain things through which you and your whole family shall be saved.' As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came upon them, even as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If then God gave to them the like gift as he gave also to us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could stand against God?" When they heard these things, they stopped finding fault, and praised God, saying, "Then also to those who are not Jews, God has given, that they may turn from their wicked deeds and live."