December 29 - Acts 2:14-21

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Acts 2:14-21 – Peter’s First Missionary Address

Peter stands with the other eleven disciples to address the crowd. He negates accusations that an earthly vice is responsible for the outpouring of gifts, but uses scripture as proof of not only the power of the Holy Spirit descending on Jerusalem, but in the following verses, proof from Scripture that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

The eleven stand with Peter as witnesses to all that occurred in Jesus’ life, including the resurrection, which will be the central portion of his speech. The Greek verb used to express the word translated as “He addressed them” in Acts 2:14 means ‘to speak seriously, with gravity’ and is often used for prophetic utterances. Luke wants his readers to understand the impact this sermon had on its listeners.

Nine o’clock in the morning is the third hour of the day, which is generally time given to prayer, followed by the fourth hour when food would be served. Drunkenness at a party, particularly a festival such as Pentecost might occur later, but it was much too early.

Then, Peter recites a passage from the prophet Joel. Joel wrote those words after locusts had destroyed the land and a famine had occurred. His words call for repentance and then restoration. He prophesies the coming Day of the Lord, the beginning of the reign of the Messiah and the time when the Holy Spirit would fill all of Israel.

Peter agreed with the rabbis of the time that the Holy Spirit no longer rested on Israel, but the promise of Jesus that it would return had occurred. While Joel believed that the Holy Spirit would come only upon Israel in the end, the words in this context show that it will come upon all who call upon the name of the Lord. The rest of the book of Acts clearly shows that Gentiles as well as Jews will receive the outpouring … it comes to all people.