The Peter and Cornelius story summary below is also available as a downloadable PDF by clicking here or on the Get Activity button. You should always seek to adapt the story as needed to make it appropriate for the kids you are teaching. You understand better the specific needs of the children under your care.
Remember, Sunday School Zone has a large, growing number of free, printable children’s Bible activities to help make the Bible come alive for kids. These story summaries will help you keep the Bible the main thing!
Bible Story: Peter and Cornelius Become Friends
Bible Text: Acts 10:1-48
- The Law and tradition kept Jews and non-Jews from being close friends, but Jesus changed everything.
- Cornelius loved God and wanted to know God, but he had to worship from far away.
- God led Peter to tell Cornelius about Jesus, and the two became forever friends.
Story: Cornelius was a Roman Centurion who loved God, but he had to worship God from far away because he wasn’t a Jew. The Law taught that God’s people had to be separate from everyone else. A Roman, like Cornelius, could never hope to be accepted by the Jewish people or worship with them. Still, Cornelius was faithful. He gave and prayed.
One day as he was praying, an angel appeared to Cornelius. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel told him that God had heard his prayers. He was told to send men to Joppa to get Peter, one of Christ’s disciples. Cornelius obeyed. When the men invited Peter to come with them, he agreed. When Peter and Cornelius met, Cornelius bowed down to worship his visitor. “Stand up; I too am a man,” Peter said, and then he told Cornelius that God had shown him that God shows no partiality, but anyone who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to Him.
Then Peter shared about Jesus. While he was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening. The Jews, who had come with Peter, were amazed that even the Gentiles, or non-Jews, could receive the Holy Spirit and be saved. It was so exciting! Now followers of God weren’t just Jews. The death and resurrection of Jesus broke the barriers that separated all people and gave everyone access to God.
Peter’s words were like water to Cornelius’s thirsty soul. As he heard about Jesus, he was filled with a new hope. When Peter explained that baptism was a sign of belief, Cornelius and the others were baptized in the name of Jesus. They were so excited to learn about Jesus that they asked Peter to stay and teach them more about their new faith. Cornelius and Peter became forever friends.