ACTS CHAPTER 2
Jesus had told the disciples he would go away to prepare a place for them, and they wait. He returned to his Father and the eleven apostles went back to Jerusalem, just as He instructed. Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as the twelfth disciple. They met each day to pray, study, and wait for Jesus to send them power as he had promised. There was also an assembly of faithful Jews, who prepared for the celebration of Pentecost. (A feast day following fifty days after Passover)
Excitement compelled the disciples to gather early at the temple to celebrate the day. Suddenly there was a sound from heaven like a great rushing wind filling the house. Cloven tongues like fire sat upon each of them. From that moment, they were filled with the spirit of Jesus. This sustaining power would enable them to complete the mission assigned to them. As manifestation of the gift, they spoke, in many languages and foreigners could understand every word in their own language. “Aren’t these men from Galilee?” someone asked. “They are not educated! How can they speak in foreign tongues?” Some even mocked the twelve and suggested that they were intoxicated.
Then Peter stood up, now a completely different man than the one who had cursed and denied Christ on the night of his trial. This time he spoke boldly, retaining the attention of the assembly. “Listen to me; people of Judea, these men are not drunk. It is too early for that. The words of the prophets have come true and they have been given the Spirit of God to enable them to speak these different languages”. He reminded them that they had crucified and killed Jesus of Nazareth, whose miracles they had witnessed. They thought death would put an end to Him but God had freed him from the bonds of death. “King David, long ago, foresaw this victory over death.” Peter continued, quoting a verse from David’s writings with which they were familiar. “We know it is true because we have seen him alive. Now he has been raised to the presence of God, to reign as Lord and Christ!”
Peter’s stirring message awakened the conscience, and some realized it was a mistake to kill Jesus. With anguish of heart, they lamented, “What can we do to be saved?” Peter answered. “Repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus, to receive forgiveness, and God will send his spirit to dwell in you.” They did so! The first few days after Pentecost, the apostles taught the new converts and they shared testimonies. The group increased daily as Jesus added to the church those who were being saved.
Peter, now converted from the cursing sinful man, was chosen to preach out three thousand people. And this only by the spirit of the risen Lord, which was now living within him.