Caesarea was the seat of governors, pagan worship and the headquarters of the Roman troops in the region.
It was a city of the gentiles, with a gentile way of life.
Not a place where we expect to find the devout, or even less a place to establish a beachhead for the advancement of the kingdom.
God, however, is not influenced by men or places. He is attracted to and moves on the hearts of those who earnestly seek Him.
“…Serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you…” 1 Chronicles 28:9
In Caesarea, God found such a man, Cornelius. ”He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.” Acts 10:2
He is a man whose actions and character are well recognized. “He is a righteous and God- fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people.” Acts 10:21
God assigned an angel to bring a message to Cornelius.
“Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.” Acts 10:4-5
His instructions are clear: go, find Peter, in Joppa, (thirty or so miles away), and bring him here.
No other explanation is given.
Something new is about to happen: this is the beginning of a major move of God that will shake the church, the community across Israel and the world.
This had been prophesied, but not understood.
“…I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6
"For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:30-32
God does what he foretells; he does not explain, but only asks us to trust and follow his lead.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" Isaiah 43:18-19
He is changing the familiar patterns of our religious beliefs and habits.
This is the hard part—to follow when we do not understand the new move of God, when the evidence of new life will have to suffice.