Unit 28, Session 5: Peter Visited Cornelius
This week was our last week on our unit, The God who Empowers. This unit has an emphasized that the Holy Spirit helps us, especially when it comes to sharing Jesus with others. This week our lesson focused on how the Holy Spirit showed Peter that the good news is for everyone.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE: Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS:
- The Holy Spirit helps us.
- Peter told Cornelius about Jesus.
- Peter learned the gospel is for all people. <-- Main Point
- The Holy Spirit helps people believe the good news.
BIBLE STORY DETAILS: The apostle Peter preached and taught boldly after Pentecost. Jesus had commanded His followers to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Acts 10 shows us how God made clear to Peter that the gospel is for everyone—not only the Jews but also the Gentiles.
The story begins in Caesarea (SESS uh REE uh), the capital city in the Roman province of Judea. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, lived in Caesarea. Like many of the people in Caesarea, Cornelius was a Gentile; however, he did not worship the Roman gods. Cornelius worshiped the one true God, and one day, God spoke to Cornelius in a vision. In the vision, an angel told Cornelius to send for Peter.
Now Peter was in Joppa (JAHP uh), about 30 miles south of Caesarea. As Cornelius’s men approached the city, Peter had a vision too. He was on a rooftop when God showed him a sheet of animals and commanded him to eat. The problem was that some of the animals were considered “unclean” by Jewish food laws. Three times, God said to Peter, “What God has made clean, do not call impure.”
Peter visited Cornelius and others who had gathered with him. Peter understood that God did not want a Jewish man to call anyone unclean just because he was a foreigner. (See Acts 10:28-29.) Peter preached the gospel to the Gentiles there, and they believed. The Holy Spirit filled them, and they were baptized.
CHRIST CONNECTION: The gospel is good news for everyone. As you teach kids, emphasize that God showed Peter that just as there is no “clean” and “unclean” food, there are no “clean” and “unclean” people. God calls believers to tell everyone the good news about Jesus, no matter who they are or where they come from. Jesus is the Lord of all.
ACTIVITY IDEA: Brainstorm together people that you each may have difficulty getting along with. Remind each other that the gospel is for that person too. Pray together during the week for those people and that God may use each of you in each other’s lives.
Want more ideas of how to use this information with your family during the week? Check out this blog post: Using the Gospel Project as a Family Devotional
NEXT WEEK: “Paul’s Conversion and Baptism” (Acts 9: 1-25)