Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Peter preached Jesus of Nazareth: 3,000 Died, 3,000 Saved (Acts 2:12-41)

Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’ Some, however, made fun of them and said, ‘They have had too much wine.’ Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: ‘Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. Those people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel
(Acts 2:12-16,

When some of the people insult the disciples by saying they must be drunk, Peter doesn’t become angry, but quietly replies this is not the case at all. In the Middle East, people drink at night not early in the morning (But in Iban culture, it’s a different story). What Peter tried to say is that the disciples are not full of wine but are full of the Holy Spirit. In fact, he told them of a promise God gave long ago to Israel through the prophet Joel that God would pour out His Spirit on all the people (read Joel 2:28-32). On the day of Pentecost, only some of the people received the Holy Spirit, but the time is coming when more from all nations will received Him prior to Jesus’ second coming.

As I read the Scripture, Church history and my own experiences (limited of course), this event in Pentecost was one time event not to be repeated again. Nowhere in the Scripture tells another event such as this. It was like a grand opening, the birth of the movement of the Holy Spirit with a sole message: Jesus is alive and the Holy Spirit is here! However, the last part of Joel’s promise was true for us today as in Peter’s day: “[Everyone] who calls on the names of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21). From here Peter went on to preach about “Jesus of Nazareth” (v.22). Although God had approved the work and Sonship of Jesus Christ, wicked men took Him and nailed Him to the cross. God knew in advance – “God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge” (v.23) – that this would happen and soon raised His Son back to life again. Why? Because “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (v.24). Oh yeah!

Peter went on to prove that even God had told David His servant that Messiah would rise from the dead (read Acts 2:25-28). David could not have been speaking about himself, as his grave was right there in Jerusalem. But he was prophesying about Jesus. David went on to prophesied, “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’” (Acts 2:34-35; Psalm 110:1). “The Lord” here is God the Father, and “my Lord” cannot be David himself but the Messiah, the Promised One, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In short, Peter was showing to them about their terrible sin in opposing God’s Messiah. They had killed the very One whom God had approved before and now had glorified. If we reject Jesus, we are rejecting God too, and we will be in the same position as the Jews who crucified Him.

For those who want to believe and come to God, Peter said: “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39)

What was their response? What was the outcome of Peter’s boldness? Were there anyone believe? The Scripture tells us: “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (v.41). This number remind me of our Bible Study on the Book of Exodus. When some of the Israelites were not repented of their idolatrous sin of worshiping the Golden Calf in Mount Sinai, Moses told us about “three thousand of the people died” (Exodus 32:28). What is your respond to this article? Would you consider this Jesus of Nazareth? Who do you say Jesus is? Peter had reminded us, he even warned us: “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation” (v.40). Do something…

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