In Caesarea, there's a guy named Cornelius who's a Roman centurion. He's a Gentile, but he observes Jewish customs and prayers.
Basically he's living the Jewish life, but hasn't made things official.
One day, while Cornelius is praying, an angel of God appears and tells him to send some men to Joppa to pick up Peter.
Cornelius is a little freaked, but he sends two of his slaves and a soldier right away. You don't mess around when God gives you divine directive.
He Saw A Vision Of Sheets
Meanwhile, the next day in Joppa Peter is on the roof praying when he gets a little hungry and sees yet another vision.
He sees a sheet being sort of lowered down from the sky with all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds running around on it. Um, okay.
God tells him to go ahead and kill one and eat it.
Nice try, Lord, Peter tells the Almighty. I don't eat unclean foods. I keep kosher all the way.
The voice tells him again, Seriously? I just told you it was fine. "What God has made clean, you must not call profane."
Peter hears this three times and the whole vision disappears.
Peter In Caesarea
Just then, Cornelius's men come into town looking for Peter.
God tells Peter that there are some guys searching for him and he should go ahead and meet them. Get a move on, Peter.
Peter meets the guys, they talk, and Peter agrees to head with them to Caesarea the next day. Things are pretty simple when they've been pre-okayed in vision form.
When Peter gets there he explains that it's actually against Jewish law for Jews to associate with Gentiles. Who knows what kind of weird Gentile germs they could pass on? But Peter decided to come because God showed him in that vision that he shouldn't go around labeling things as unclean. Good takeaway.
Cornelius tells Peter about his vision and asks Peter to tell him whatever it is that God needs him to hear. This should be good.
Peter tells him that God doesn't play favorites. Jew? Gentile? God is cool with whatever your background is because he's "Lord of all."
Peter gives a quick backstory about Jesus (lived, died, rose again) and the Holy Spirit falls on everyone who hears him. Nice job, Peter.
Since the Gentiles in the group want to be baptized, Peter doesn't see any reason why they shouldn't be. Equality is awesome.