Summary: 1) Refutation of the charge of drunkenness (Acts 2:14-15). 2) Explanation of Pentecost based on Old Testament prophecy (Acts 2:16-21).
This summer has been particularly dry. If you have been traveling or noticing the news, there are varying degrees of drought across North America. The recent rains have turned things around. As the recent rain has been pored out, previously parched and lifeless vegetation is beginning to come to life.
In Acts 2, when Peter explained the works of God, it was attested to by the Holy Spirit by His coming as of tongues of fire and the sound like a mighty wind and the miracle of languages to the crowd. Previously spiritually dead people were coming to life and were now amazed, confused and wanted an explanation.
Peter's address was respectful, yet firm. He proceeded calmly to show them their error. When (some) ridicule us or the gospel, we should answer them kindly and respectfully, yet firmly. We should reason with them coolly, and convince them of their error, (Proverbs 15:1). In this case Peter acted on the principle which he afterward proclaimed to all: 1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (ESV) (Albert Barnes: Notes on the New Testament: Acts–Romans [Grand Rapids: Baker, reprint of the 1884–85 edition], 29–30.)
Before launching into the main body of his sermon, Peter discusses what is immediately on the people’s minds—the phenomena of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower the saints of God for ministry. He begins by giving a 1) Refutation of the charge of drunkenness (Acts 2:14-15). Then he offers an 2) Explanation of Pentecost based on Old Testament prophecy (Acts 2:16-21)..
1) The Refutation (Acts 2:14-15)
Acts 2:14-15 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. (ESV)
Peter had been the acknowledged leader and often the spokesman for the apostles during Christ’s earthly ministry. In all four lists of apostles, his name is first (Matt. 10:2–4; Mark 3:16–19; Luke 6:14–16; Acts 1:13). Just think, of all the disciples, Peter was the one to preach the first Christian sermon! The one who denied knowing Jesus three times (cf. Luke 23)! Peter’s change from cowardice and denial to boldness and spiritual insight is another evidence that the age of the Spirit had dawned with life-changing power (Utley, R. J. (2003). Vol. Volume 3B: Luke the Historian: The Book of Acts. Study Guide Commentary Series (27). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.).
• Faith in the resurrected Christ means that our past life does not need to be a barrier to our present life. We don't have to beat ourselves up over our past mistakes. In Christ, there is new hope and new opportunity.
Peter now continues in the leadership role, standing with/taking his stand, along with the eleven other apostles, facing the crowd. The eleven included Matthias, chosen earlier to replace the traitor Judas and complete the ranks of the twelve. As eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ themselves, they supported Peter.