15 April 2015

Acts 2:14, 22-36

“This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.” (v. 32)

Psalm: Psalm 136:1-9


Emboldened by the extraordinary events of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-12), Peter stood alongside his eleven fellow disciples and addressed the excitable crowd attracted by hearing this collection of Galileans speaking in many different languages. He first of all refuted the suggestion that these were drunken ramblings; far too early in the morning for that (Acts 2:15). He then interpreted what was happening as a fulfilment of God's promise spoken through the prophet Joel, to pour out God's Spirit upon all flesh (Acts 2:17, quoting Joel 2:28).

The main purpose of Peter's speech, however, was to take this opportunity to connect these events to Jesus of Nazareth and to bear witness to his resurrection. He doesn't beat around the bush. He reminded the people of how God was clearly manifested amongst them in this man Jesus - and fairly and squarely placed the responsibility for his death in their hands. But, this wasn't the end! God had raised him up and freed him from death! In verses 25-28 Peter quoted from Psalm 16:8-11, attributing the words to David and suggesting that David foresaw these extraordinary happenings. He also set out the case for Jesus being greater than David - after all they knew where David was buried and he hadn't ascended into heaven.

Peter was witnessing to what he had seen and heard: "This Jesus God raised up .... Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God ... God has made him both Lord and Messiah" (vv. 32, 33, 36). Peter was witnessing to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and its implications for all who were listening.

Peter and the other disciples were undergoing a remarkable transformation. The Resurrection was the ultimate 'game-changer' and nothing would ever be the same again. All of what Jesus had taught and all that he had gone through now made sense. This of itself was transformative but now the Holy Spirit had come upon them to further empower and equip them in witnessing to "this Jesus"!

To Ponder

  • In what ways is the Resurrection 'the ultimate game-changer'?
  • What does it mean to be a witness to something and why are the words of a witness so important?
  • When have you experienced 'the penny dropping' and something becoming clear and comprehensible? How has this been empowering?

Bible notes author

The Revd Graham Jones

Graham Jones is a Methodist presbyter serving as a member of the Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network in the Yorkshire Plus region of the Methodist Church, with particular responsibility for ministry development. Graham is committed to developing ministry in its broadest sense, enabling both lay and ordained to live out their vocations, and to share in God's mission in the most fulfilling and effective ways.