Acts 11:1-18

Peter returns to Jerusalem

1 The apostles and the other believers in Judea heard that Gentiles had also believed the message from God. 2 Peter then returned from Caesarea and he arrived in Jerusalem. Some of the Jews there who were believers spoke against him. These Jews thought that all believers should be circumcised. 3 So they said to Peter, ‘You stayed in the house of men who were not circumcised. You even ate meals with them!’

11:3The Jews that spoke to Peter believed in Jesus. They thought that Peter had done a wrong thing. He had stayed with people who were not Jews. And he had even eaten meals with them.

4 Peter then began to explain everything that had happened. He said to them, 5 ‘I was staying in a house in the city called Joppa. One day, when I was praying, I had a special dream. I saw something that came down from heaven. It was like a large piece of cloth. Somebody held it at each of its four corners and let it come down to the ground next to me. 6 I looked carefully at it. I saw that there were farm animals with four legs inside the cloth. There were also wild animals, snakes, and birds in it. 7 Then I heard a voice that said to me, “Peter, stand up and kill some of these animals. Then you can cook them and eat the meat.”

8 But I answered, “No, Lord, I would certainly not do that. I have never eaten an animal that our Law says is dirty.”

9 Then the voice spoke to me from heaven again. It said, “God has made these animals good for people to eat. So you must not say that it is not right to eat them.” 10 All this happened three times. After that, the cloth went back up into heaven again.

11 At that moment, three men from Caesarea arrived at the house where I was staying. Someone had sent these men to find me. 12 The Holy Spirit told me that I should go with them. He said that I should not be afraid. These 6 believers from Joppa also went with me to Caesarea. We all went into Cornelius's house. 13 Then Cornelius told us what had happened to him. He had seen an angel who appeared in his house and said to him, “Send some men to Joppa to fetch a man who is called Simon Peter. 14 He will come and speak to you. His message will tell you how God will save you and everyone else in your house.”

15 When I started to speak to Cornelius and his family, the Holy Spirit came down on them. It happened in the same way that he first came down on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord Jesus had said to us: “John baptized people with water, but God will baptize you with his Holy Spirit.” 17 So we see that God gave these Gentiles his gift of the Holy Spirit. This is the same gift that he gave to us Jews who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. So, I could not think that God was wrong to do this.’

18 The Jewish believers heard what Peter said. They could not say anything more against him. Instead, they praised God and they said, ‘We now see that God has also let Gentiles have life with him. He will accept them if they stop doing bad things and turn to him.’