ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
News came to the apostles and the brothers and sisters in Judea that even foreigners had received the Word of God.
So, when Peter went up to Jerusalem, these Jewish believers began to argue with him,
“You went to the home of uncircumcised people and ate with them!”
So Peter began to give them the facts as they had happened,
“I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when, in a trance, I saw a vision.
Something like a large sheet came down from the sky and drew near me, landing on the ground by its four corners.
As I stared at it, I saw four-legged creatures of the earth, wild beasts and reptiles, and birds of the sky.
Then I heard a voice saying to me:
‘Get up, Peter, kill and eat!’
‘Certainly not, Lord!
No common or unclean creature has ever entered my mouth.’
A second time the voice from the heavens spoke,
‘What God has made clean, you must not call unclean.’
This happened three times, and then it was all drawn up into the sky.
At that moment three men, who had been sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were staying.
The Spirit instructed me to go with them without hesitation;
so these six brothers came along with me and we entered into the man’s house.
He told us how he has seen an angel standing in his house and telling him: ‘Send someone to Joppa and fetch Simon, also known as Peter.
He will bring you a message by which you and all your household will be saved.’
I had begun to address them when suddenly the Holy Spirit came upon them, just as it had come upon us at the beginning.
Then I remembered what the Lord had said:
‘John baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
If, then, God had given them the same gift that he had given us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I to resist God?”
When they heard this they set their minds at rest and praised God saying,
“Then God has granted life-giving repentance to the pagan nations as well.”
Those who had been scattered over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message, but only to the Jews.
But there were some natives of Cyprus and Cyrene among them who, on coming into Antioch, spoke also to the Greeks, giving them the good news of the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them so that a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
News of this reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the manifest signs of God’s favour,
he rejoiced and urged them all to remain firmly faithful to the Lord;
for he himself was a good man filled with Holy Spirit and faith.
Thus large crowds came to know the Lord.
Then Barnabas went off to Tarsus to look for Saul
and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they had meetings with the Church and instructed many people.
It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.
At that time some prophets went down from Jerusalem to Antioch
and one of them, named Agabus, inspired by the Holy Spirit, foretold that a great famine would spread over the whole world.
This actually happened in the days of the Emperor Claudius.
So the disciples decided, within their means, to set something aside and to send relief to the brothers and sisters who were living in Judea.
They did this and sent their donations to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.