They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Anticipating their arrival, Cornelius had gathered his relatives and close friends.
As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in order to honor him.
But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Get up! Like you, I'm just a human."
As they continued to talk, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people.
He said to them, "You all realize that it is forbidden for a Jew to associate or visit with outsiders. However, God has shown me that I should never call a person impure or unclean.
For this reason, when you sent for me, I came without objection. I want to know, then, why you sent for me."
Cornelius answered, "Four days ago at this same time, three o'clock in the afternoon, I was praying at home. Suddenly a man in radiant clothing stood before me.
He said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayers, and your compassionate acts are like a memorial offering to him.
Therefore, send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is known as Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, located near the seacoast.'
I sent for you right away, and you were kind enough to come. Now, here we are, gathered in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has directed you to say."
Peter said, "I really am learning that God doesn't show partiality to one group of people over another.
Rather, in every nation, whoever worships him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
This is the message of peace he sent to the Israelites by proclaiming the good news through Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all!
You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism John preached.
You know about Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit and endowed with power. Jesus traveled around doing good and healing everyone oppressed by the devil because God was with him.
We are witnesses of everything he did, both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree,
but God raised him up on the third day and allowed him to be seen,
not by everyone but by us. We are witnesses whom God chose beforehand, who ate and drank with him after God raised him from the dead.
He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.
All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on everyone who heard the word.
The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.
They heard them speaking in other languages and praising God. Peter asked,
"These people have received the Holy Spirit just as we have. Surely no one can stop them from being baptized with water, can they?"
He directed that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited Peter to stay for several days.