Acts 10:17

Another painting under rotunda at the capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. Acts 10:17

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

Peter’s vision ended in the previous verse with the object being taken up into heaven again. Luke next records, “Now while Peter wondered within himself.”

The word translated as “wondered” is stronger, meaning totally perplexed. This is the last of four times it is seen. Two of its other uses in Acts were in Acts 2:12 and Acts 5:24. HELPS Word Studies says it “refers to ‘one who goes through the whole list of possible ways, and finds no way out.’” In other words, Peter was perfectly perplexed as to “what this vision which he had seen meant.”

Because he is working it out in his mind, he may have thought it was just a delusion because he was overly hungry, or maybe he got too much sun on the roof, or maybe it really was a vison. If it was, then there must be some connection that he had not yet made.

The answer to his state of confusion was, literally, just about to knock on the door. The vision was real, and the Lord was going to tie it into the stream of events that were coming to pass at that moment. As it next says, “behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house.”

Here is a word found only this one time in Scripture, dierótaó, translated as “made inquiry.” It comes from dia (through) and erótaó (to ask). As such, one gets the sense of the men arriving at Joppa and then asking their way through the streets until they finally found the right house. Once that was ascertained, they came to it “and stood before the gate.”

The word “and” is not in the Greek. It simply shows the events as they took place –

“having made inquiry for the house of Simon, stood before the gate.”

Luke masterfully leaves the reader ready for the next action to take place, setting the actions of those sent from Cornelius to align perfectly with the ponderings of Peter. The timing of the events shows that God was in total control of the events that took place so that they would come to pass together at the same moment.

Life application: There are things that happen in life that we often call chance or coincidence. Or we may brush them off with the words, “What synchronicity!” But we often go no further. However, for those who know the Lord, such events can be looked at with a different view.

We can ascribe them to the working of God in our lives to bring about a good end in whatever matter we thought was, at first, total calamity. This doesn’t mean we should go looking for signs and ascribing goofy things like getting $7.77 change back at 7-11 to be a sign that the rapture will happen next Tuesday. There is a difference between seeing the Lord’s hand working out a good end for a certain matter and the type of thinking that is just plain goofy.

And more, the rapture is not dependent on events that occur in our lives, as if the Lord is using us as an instrument of His will to bring it about. That is a “me” centered theology and it is quite harmful.

On the other hand, if we have calamity today and suddenly something amazingly good replaces it, we can ascribe that to the Lord’s kind hand upon our affliction (think of Job 42), and praise Him for His tender care of us. That is a “Him” centered theology because it always ascribes events from the top down, not the bottom up.

Let us remember this. In such times, we have not erred by giving Him the glory, even if it was mere chance (if you believe in that). But in ascribing things in a bottom-up manner, when such events do not take place, you have erred. You have brought disgrace upon the name, and you have made yourself look foolish. In all things, and in all ways, glorify God, not yourself, for the events that take place in your life, whether good or bad. In the end, and because of Jesus Christ, good will ultimately come to pass.

Lord God, help us to not error in our thinking by making events that happen around us all about us. Rather, when we see the marvelous occur, may we rightly ascribe it to Your hand and be grateful for Your grace and mercy upon us. In all things, may we remember to glorify You above all else. Amen.