Peter told the Jewish Christians what God taught him
Jesus’s other special workers, and the other Christians in Judea, they heard about Peter’s visit to Caesarea. They heard that some people in Caesarea, that were not Jews, believed God’s word. After Peter got back to Jerusalem, some of the Jewish Christians argued with him. They reckoned he broke their law. They said, “You went into the house of people that are not Jews, and you even ate food with them.”
Then Peter told them all the things that happened. He said, “I was in the town called Joppa, and I was praying, and I had something like a dream, but I was still awake. I saw something like a big sheet with things in it. Somebody was holding on to the 4 corners, and they let it come down from the sky to me. I looked inside it, and I saw all sorts of animals, and lizards, and snakes, and birds. Then I heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up Peter. Kill some of those animals and eat them.’ But I said, ‘No, boss. I will not. Our law says we cant eat that sort of animal. They are no good, so I never eat any of them.’
Then I heard that voice from the sky again. It said, ‘If God says that something is good, don’t say it is no good.’ 10 That happened 3 times, and then that sheet and everything in it went back up into the sky.
11 Just then 3 men came to the house I was staying in. They came from Caesarea. 12 The Holy Spirit told me, ‘Don’t worry, just go with those men.’ So I went with them, and these 6 other men here, they went with me too. We got there, and we went into a Roman man’s house. 13-14 That man told us that he saw an angel in his house, a few days ago. The angel said to him, ‘Peter has a message for you, so send somebody to Joppa to get him. He will tell you how God can save you, and your family, and everyone else in your house too.’
15 I started talking to those people, and then the Holy Spirit came into them, just like he came into us that first time. 16 And I remembered that our leader Jesus said, ‘John baptised people with water, but God will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’* 17 You know, we believed in our leader Jesus Christ, and God gave us the Holy Spirit. And now those people that are not Jews, they believe in Jesus too, and God gave them the Holy Spirit too, just like he gave him to us. So, you see, I couldn’t try to stop God. No way.”
18 The Jewish Christians heard Peter say that, and they stopped arguing with him. They started to thank God and say he is really good. They said, “Now we understand it. God will let anyone come to him, even people that are not Jews, and after they turn away from doing bad things, and they come to him, then he will give them new life that never stops. God is so good.”
The Christian people in Antioch got strong
19 At the time when some men killed Stephen, those men wanted to kill the rest of the Christians too. So a lot of Christians ran away from Jerusalem, and they went a long way, even to other countries. They told people in those places the message about Jesus, but they only told it to their own countrymen, the Jews. Some of those Christians went to Fonisha country, and some of them went to the island called Cyprus, and some of them went to the city called Antioch.* 20 But some of them, men that belonged to Cyprus and men that belonged to the town called Cyrene, they went to Antioch too, and they didn’t just talk to Jews, they talked to people that are not Jews too. They told them the good news about our leader Jesus. 21 God helped them tell people his message, and a lot of people that were not Jews believed in Jesus and followed him.
22 The Christians in Jerusalem heard about those things happening at Antioch, so they sent one of their men there. His name was Barnabas. 23 He got to Antioch, and he saw everything that was happening. Then he knew that God was very good to the people there, so he was very happy. He told those new Christians, “Stay strong for Jesus and keep on following him all the time.” 24 Barnabas was a good man. He let the Holy Spirit control him, and he really trusted God. He got lots more people there to follow Jesus.
25 After that, Barnabas left Antioch, and he went to the town called Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 He found Saul there, and he took him back to Antioch. They both stayed there for a year, and they met with the Christians in the church there, and they kept on teaching them. A lot of people in Antioch followed Jesus, and that was the place where people first used the name Christians for the people that followed Jesus Christ.
The Antioch Christians helped the Judea Christians
27 At that time, some Christian men left Jerusalem and went to Antioch. They had the power to tell God’s messages. 28 One of those men was Agabus. He stood up in a meeting, and the Holy Spirit told him a message to tell everybody. He said, “There is going to be a very hard time for all the people everywhere. There will be no food to eat anywhere.” (And that really happened later, when Claudius was the biggest Roman boss.)* 29-30 The Christians in Antioch heard Agabus tell that message, and they remembered the Christians in Judea. They knew that the Judea Christians were poor, so they would have a very hard time if there is not much food. The Antioch Christians wanted to help them, so they all put money into a bag. Each of them gave as much money as they could. Then they gave it to Barnabas and Saul, and those 2 men, took it to the Christian leaders in Jerusalem, in Judea country.
* 11:16 Acts 1:5 * 11:19 Acts 8:1-4 * 11:28 Acts 21:10