Thursday, 15 September 2022
While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. Acts 10:19
The previous verse noted that those sent from Cornelius asked whether Peter was lodging at the house. That was occurring even while Peter was coming out of his vision –
From the BLB translation –
a. And while Peter was perplexed in himself what the vision that he had seen might be, behold
b. The men having been sent from Cornelius, having inquired for the house of Simon, stood at the gate.
b. And having called out, they were asking if Simon who is called Peter is lodged here
a. And of Peter thinking over the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you.
One can see how Luke carefully gives an “a b b a” pattern to show that these things were occurring at the same time. With this noted, the verse now begins with, “While Peter thought about the vision.”
The verb is a present participle, “And while Peter, thinking about the vision...” Depending on the text, the word translated as thinking either means to ponder or to ponder thoroughly. Either way, Peter was mulling over what had happened at the same time that the travelers were arriving and asking whether Peter was there. It is at this time, while Peter is trying to figure out the meaning of the vision that it next says, “the Spirit said to him.”
Nothing is said about how this occurs, whether audibly or internally, but it appears to be similar to that of Acts 8:29 where the Spirit told Philip to go near the chariot of the Ethiopian Eunuch. A message was conveyed that was clear enough for Peter to know that it was real, saying, “Behold, three men are seeking you.”
The fact that the Spirit said this while he was pondering the purpose of the vision is a clear indication that these three have something to do with it. It is similar to that which was prophesied by Isaiah many centuries earlier concerning the millennium, saying –
“It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer.” Isaiah 65:24
Peter had not yet asked the Lord what the meaning of the vision was, and yet he is being given directions that will explain what the vision means.
Life application: Peter’s vision, the coming of these Gentiles to meet him, and the Spirit speaking to Peter are all things that are leading to the inclusion of Gentiles in the body of believers. These were necessary steps to establish a baseline of what is allowed and acceptable within the church. Their inclusion in the word is thus also necessary so that subsequent generations of believers would know these things as well.
And that is the purpose of the Bible. It is to tell us of the things God has done within the stream of time so that we can know what is right and proper. This includes the inspiration of these men of God to relay what was to be written down. Once it was, such revelation is no longer needed. We now know that Gentiles were accepted. We now know that meats are not what God is focusing on and that we are free to eat anything set before us. And so on.
This is why it is so important to know your Bible. In knowing what it says, we can live our lives in the freedom offered to us because of the finished work of Christ. The Bible is not a book of bondage, but of life and fellowship with God. May we see it as such and not use it as a tool to unnecessarily impose bondage on ourselves and those we instruct.
It is true that there are confines we are to remain within, but these are still confines of freedom, meaning freedom from sin. Sin is bondage (John 8:34, Romans 6:6), and so to be kept from sin is its own type of freedom. If we can view the word from this perspective, our lives will be happy and prosperous in the Lord.
Heavenly Father, may we find joy in Your word each day. Help us to be faithful and careful stewards of it. And, Lord, help us to apply its precepts to our walk each day. Thank You for Your precious word. Amen.