The story of the book of Acts is the narrative of ordinary men and women, full of the Spirit, gradually taking the good news about Jesus out of Jerusalem, and into Judea, Samaria and then on to the ends of the earth. Although Jesus often ministered in Gentile areas, like Decapolis, the disciples had thus far kept Christianity among Jewish people and half-breed Samaritans (and then only after persecution forces them out!)
So now the Lord makes another big tweak. Philip had seen and Ethipian God fearer converted, and now the Lord will save a Gentile and not just any Gentile – a senior military commander in the Roman army! This man is another “God fearer” who receives a vision to call on Peter to come. There’s not a chance a Jewish believer would evangelise to Him, so God is going to have to gives some visions and a trance to make it happen!
Peter has to fall into a trance to receive the revelation that “unclean” Gentiles will be welcomed into the kingdom of God. Even the trance is in a way that needs pondering. The Lord doesn’t always make revelation super obvious. Because this is such an important thing, Peter also hears the Spirit speaking.
When Peter arrives, Cornelius explains how God spoke to him too, even naming Simon Peter. The rather large penny drops and Peter explains the gospel to Cornelius which is confirmed with the Spirit falling on them all – with the gift of tongues and praise. Therefore there is no reason why these new believers can not be baptised!
These last two days of reading have required believers to be open to the Lord speaking and then doing what they are told. What a disaster it would have been if they hadn’t listened and obeyed.