Reading For Tuesday Acts 2:1-47
The day of Pentecost arrived. The disciples had been waiting and on this particular day they were all together, but there seems to be no indication that the disciples were aware of the incredible event that would change everything. Pentecost was the spring harvest festival, referred to in the Old Testament as the Festival of Weeks, which was 50 days after Passover. Then some wonderful happened, the Holy Spirit came, and it was both visible and audible. God the Spirit came in power and was accompanied by the sound of a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire. These tongues of fire endowed the disciples with the ability to speak in various languages to the multicultural crowd that had gathered for the festival. The sound drew a crowd and when they heard what was being said, understood it, and recognize that the men speaking were Galileans, they were amazed and astonished. What a list of countries and people groups. Many wondered what this might mean while others just mocked this group and accused them of being drunk.
Peter speaks for the group and begins to preach to the multitude that had congregated there. He addresses them, invites them to listen, and asserts that they are not drunk. He begins his sermon with a quote from the prophet Joel, pointing them to the reality that God had declared long ago and they were seeing the prophecy fulfilled. He witnesses to the truth about Jesus reminding them of what had transpired and recounted the gospel, reiterating that he could not be held by death and was resurrected and very much alive. Once again he pointed to the scripture citing what David had prophesied concerning the resurrection. He corroborated that they were witnesses to Jesus' resurrection and explained that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit was the reason for what they were seeing and hearing. Peter boldly proclaims that Jesus is Christ and Lord, and when they heard this news, they were cut to the heart and wanted to know what to do. Peter called them to repent, believe, and be baptized with the encouragement that they too would receive the Holy Spirit. The convicting and regenerating work of the Spirit yielded about three thousand souls.
This new family gave themselves to the Scripture, the apostles' teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer. Signs and wonders took place, affirming the authority of the apostles. This new church shared with generous hearts and gave to those in need. This became the pattern of their worship and fellowship. They had the favor of the people, and the Lord continued to add to the new church.
Things To Consider:
- Do you think of God the Holy Spirit as a person or as a presence or force? Why?
- What did the people hear when the apostles spoke in tongues?
- Why does the gift of tongues sometimes cause confusion and division?
- What do you see about Peter's sermon that stands out to you?
- Why is it significant that Peter quoted from David to a predominantly Jewish group?
- What is repentance?
- Why did Peter call the people to repentance?
- What is baptism? Why do you think Peter included it in his exhortation?
- Why do you think generosity should be an identifier for Christians?
- What should churches devote themselves to?
- Why do you think they had the favor of the people? Should we expect to have that same kind of favor? Why or why not?