Bible Reading Day 169
Yesterday we saw the variety of reactions to the spectacle of the disciples speaking in the languages of the multinational crowd in Jerusalem. From hiding in the Upper Room, through the filling of the Holy Spirit, the believers are now out in the marketplace or the city square, surrounded by a crowd of curious spectators; some amazed and some skeptical.
Peter is clearly the leader of the disciples (as Jesus had originally appointed him, and then restored him). He is now inspired to respond to this supernatural occurrence and explain it to the crowd.
The book of Joel provides the explanation: God has poured out His Spirit on all flesh, and the servants of God are prophesying. This precedes the judgment day when whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Then Peter applies this to his listeners: they must all have known about the crucifixion of Jesus, barely two months earlier, and Peter challenges them to recognize their responsibility for the unjust death (recalling the cries of the crowd “let His blood be on us and our children”). He also shows clearly that this was God’s plan, referring to Psalm 16:8-11, where David prophesied the resurrection. David’s death (symbolized by his tomb which all the Jews would know well) proved that the Psalm was a prophecy referring to the Lord Jesus. And Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit, who is now poured out, after His ascension, which David also prophesied in Psalm 68:18 and Psalm 110:1. So Peter relates contemporary events to well-known scriptures and helps his hearers to make the connection between what is happening and what God promised.
The conclusion is powerful: You crucified this Jesus but God has made Him both Christ (Messiah, Savior) and Lord (worthy of obedience and submission). This convicts the listening Jews and they ask Peter and the disciples what they can do. Peter responds with instructions that have been taught to every new believer since: repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit. the promise is for you, your children, and all who are far from God.
Convinced, about three thousand people were saved and baptized that day! And the Holy Spirit worked in their hearts so powerfully that they lived powerfully changed lives. That in turn led to many others being added – daily salvations. As you read the last few verses of the chapter, reflect on which characteristics of the early believers you share, and which are those God wants to activate in your life? How can these changes draw others to Jesus?
Have a great day!