The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
It was while Peter was still at Joppa that he was called by God to take the gospel to Cornelius, in Caesarea.
Cornelius was a Roman centurion. He was a man of wealth and noble birth, and his position was one of trust and honor. A heathen by birth, training, and education, through contact with the Jews he had gained a knowledge of God, and he worshiped Him with a true heart, showing the sincerity of his faith by compassion to the poor. He was known far and near for his beneficence, and his righteous life made him of good repute among both Jews and Gentiles. His influence was a blessing to all with whom he came in contact. The inspired record describes him as “a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.”
Believing in God as the Creator of heaven and earth, Cornelius revered Him, acknowledged His authority, and sought His counsel in all the affairs of life. He was faithful to Jehovah in his home life and in his official duties. He had erected the altar of God in his home, for he dared not attempt to carry out his plans or to bear his responsibilities without the help of God.
Though Cornelius believed the prophecies and was looking for the Messiah to come, he had not a knowledge of the gospel as revealed in the life and death of Christ. He was not a member of the Jewish church and would have been looked upon by the rabbis as a heathen and unclean. But the same Holy Watcher who said of Abraham, “I know him,” knew Cornelius also, and sent a message direct from heaven to him.
The angel appeared to Cornelius while he was at prayer. As the centurion heard himself addressed by name, he was afraid, yet he knew that the messenger had come from God….
The explicitness of these directions, in which was named even the occupation of the man with whom Peter was staying, shows that Heaven is acquainted with the history and business of human beings in every station of life. God is familiar with the experience and work of the humble laborer, as well as with that of the king upon his throne.—The Acts of the Apostles, 132-134.
Further Reflection: Who in my neighborhood has been seeking God, faithfully waiting for a special message from God, which He might want to deliver through me?