Summary: Jesus the Spirit of Prophecy
Acts 2:14-21, “14Then 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. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17" ’In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19I will show wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Peter stepping forward shows he has gained the respect of his peers. Often times we all make mistakes even mistakes that cause a lot of people pain, but the decision has to be made. Peter stepping forward indicates his position has been given back to him. Peter is quoting Joel 2:28-32 here to demonstrate to the believer that Jesus the One who was crucified on the Cross was the Spirit of prophecy. Jesus was the essence of the Old Testament not some hogwash play doll, but the essence of what the Old Testament Jesus filled in dying on the Cross for our sins. This would have been understood by the people gathering out immediately since most of the one hundred and twenty people in 1:15 but more than likely was a number much larger than that due to the fact that it was Pentecost and all the names of the countries listed in vs.7-11 of this same chapter.
Scripture always builds upon Scripture. It is the truth that one truth will irrevocable refute or deny another truth. If you took a top flight military tank from the United States army and went around city to city destroying buildings such an instance would be considered extremely illegal and we all know this to be the case but the point is that if someone did do this we will know exactly what they would have in for them. The same is true with Jesus. He shed His blood as the Spirit of prophecy the essence of the Old Testament, so that His character within us would be known as an outward expression of who we are as believers. This is evident in Peter’s going forward. Peter understands now what his mission was to preach the Gospel. Do you understand your life’s mission?
In tension here though is the fact that the early Christians held in tension the reality of Jesus anytime coming for them. Perhaps as the church we have lost sight of that, that the mission of the church is to prepare souls towards that very day of judgment, that this Christian life means more than we are letting onto or even experiencing, for it means that we must enter into the story in turn letting the webs that have been cast around us, be spun around God’s story. If our story isn’t intermingled with the story of Christ which is the story of the Cross and the resurrection, then what story are we living in? Jesus was the essence of all that what we cherish as believers. Our faith is built not upon the New Testament, although it is important, but upon the Old Testament, as Apostle Peter points out here by using his own understanding of Scripture to point to the error of the ways of the Jews.
God has not given up on the Jewish people, most Christians have given up on the Jews. Romans 11 makes it clear that God never gave up on the Jews that His plan all along is for the Jew to be saved first and then the Gentile. God does not see a cast based system, He only sees men’s hearts and lives, the things that bog them down and weigh them down as well. The Jews in a sense are God’s priority number one as they are His nation, His Chosen. Jesus was a Jew and sadly many Christians have discounted our Jewish brethren and our Jewish heritage in hopes of a different faith than what God intended us to have. God intends for us to have our faith grounded in an understanding of Jewish concepts, since the very New Testament itself is written almost solely by Jews, it is Jews we should honor and esteem. The heritage of the Jews is the heritage of the Christians, so we should love the Jews and embrace them and learn from them so that we can fully embrace our faith roots. Jesus is the focal point of all prophecy, may we remember that, and hold in tension as we will see today that the early Christians lived in the reality of the coming of the return of the Lord that it was this that motivated them and sparked the fires of the faith towards holy living.