Imagine being summoned into a room filled with people you formerly hated who hate you because you formerly hated them.
That’s a tough situation to imagine, but it’s exactly the situation Peter presently finds himself. He’s brought some witnesses along, either for protection or confirmation – we’re not sure which – but those witnesses would have been no match for a Roman centurion and his cadre of close friends who we imagine have a military bent along with Cornelius.
So, what is this all about? (Peter wonders.) (What could this possibly be about?)
It has been a 30 mile walk from Joppa to Caesarea, and there must have been some weariness. No food or refreshment is offered, these men (and women) will get right down to business. There seems to be a sense of urgency. Also, a sense of Divine arrangement.
Did Peter feel kind of creepy entering the home of a Gentile? (Especially a Roman- military-Gentile?)
These are just some of the difficulties Peter is facing, (along with his friends,) as he enters the home of Cornelius, the centurion who has summoned him at God’s direction from Joppa. He has probably never entered the home of a Gentile before in his life. The home of a Gentile would have been rendered unclean, and all who entered would also have been considered unclean to the Jews. Nothing in Peter’s background would have permitted this. Never. No way.
But I really think Peter has begun to sense this is all changing, and the Lord has everything to do with that. (Even as Peter has personally voiced his objection to the Lord about the direction he is beginning to sense the Lord has for him.)
What Peter is only beginning to understand is the full effect of the Great Commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20, and repeated with the promise of power in Acts 1:8.
Now, will Peter share the gospel with those who are completely unclean and unworthy of hearing it – those he formerly hated just for being who they are?