Acts 10:18

Settler painting. Capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. Acts 10:18

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).

The last verse had the men who were sent from Cornelius arriving at the gate of Simon’s house. With that, the next words are given. The NKJV doesn’t do a great job in its translation of the verbs in this verse. Therefore, the BLB will be used. Notice the difference –

And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. NKJV
And having called out, they were asking if Simon who is called Peter is lodged here. BLB

With that noted, the verse begins with, “And having called out.” Those who had arrived at the gate had called out. In their having called out, a response was obviously received, either from a window or from someone directly coming out to them. Either way, Luke has the reader involved in the action that is ongoing because he next notes, “they were asking.”

The verb is imperfect, giving the sense of continuance. In this case, it probably isn’t, “They asked and continued to ask,” as if the people inside didn’t understand the first time. Rather, it is probably, “They asked and were waiting for a response.” That sense of continuance is then explained in the coming verse where Peter will gather himself from his pondering about the vision. For now, the question they put forth was “if Simon who is called Peter is lodged here.”

Again, as in verse 10:5, both names are given. This is to ensure that the right Simon is summoned. The house belonged to Simon the tanner, and it would be normal for someone to come looking for him, maybe to get a hide tanned or to pick one up. And so, to avoid any confusion, the men were instructed to ask for Simon who is called Peter.

Along with this, the certainty that the correct Simon is summoned will also be confirmed by the Spirit speaking to Peter in the next verse. Everything about the account is precisely stated, and the verbs are carefully used by Luke to give us an intimate look into the events as they occur.

Life application: Why is Peter being summoned when it is Paul who is the apostle to the Gentiles? That doesn’t seem to make sense unless one takes in the whole account of what is going on. Like the Greek language, which is very precise, the overall narrative is also very precise.

There is a reason why Peter is called, and it is not to tell Cornelius that he has to wait for someone named Paul to show up and give him the Gentile gospel. It is because Peter’s gospel is the same gospel as Paul’s. Only the prime focus of Peter’s gospel is to the Jews. And yet, he wasn’t called only to the Jews. Likewise, Paul wasn’t called only to the Gentiles. Even the poorest of scholars can figure that out when taking things in the proper context.

Unfortunately, there are those who evaluate the word in an unscholarly manner. In this, they come to unfounded conclusions, ignoring the overall message and focusing on division rather than unity of thought. Despite this, the word must be rightly divided. It is a unified whole. Therefore, any division is for a logical analysis of Scripture, not to divide the overall message.

Be sure to keep things in context and be sure to avoid people who proclaim a false gospel, which is no gospel at all. Jews and Gentiles are saved in the exact same way – by faith in the finished work of Jesus and in nothing else.

Lord God how blessed we are to be saved in the simplest manner of all which is by faith in the finished work of Christ. Anything else would make it too complicated for most to understand. And even the simple gospel eludes so many. Help us to not add to or divide this precious offer of life, the gospel of our salvation. Amen.