Above the cacophony, Peter, backed by the other eleven, stands and addresses the crowd. “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. And then he speaks to them in terms of the Scriptures – explaining what is happening right before them.
Again I say these fishermen are not uneducated when it comes to the Holy Writ! What you have put in can quickly come out as the Holy Spirit brings it to your remembrance and applies it to the moment. Peter quotes Joel –
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,…even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.…And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
(A small “take notice” here for gender equality.)
The crowd had a few things going for them. First, they also were likely to have known the Scripture. Second, as Jews they were very accustomed to the idea of prophets and prophesy. And lastly, calling on the name of the Lord to be saved was a time honored fact in the nation of Israel. (If you want to share from the Scriptures in this day and time, one is not so likely to have an audience so well prepared.)
Men of Israel, hear these words: Peter is about to explain a huge and powerful connection between what they’ve heard and what they – themselves – have actually done.
Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
It’s unnecessary to paraphrase something so clearly stated but I’m a sucker for repetitions.
The first is about identity: Jesus of Nazareth – this Jesus. Let’s be very sure to acknowledge that salvation come through no other but this particular name and this particular accomplishment. This Jesus that God has made both Lord and Christ. This is the name one must call on to be saved.
The second is about eye-witnesses. The disciples, headed by Peter were eye-witnesses to all things concerning Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and the coming of the Spirit. Even Mathias, the replacement disciple had to meet these qualifications. But, the crowd had also been eye-witnesses or had some first-hand knowledge of these same things about Jesus. (Eye-witness accounts are important but easily disputed by others who were there but might have other perspectives. Clearly the eye-witness accounts of the disciples were not disputed but actually confirmed by those with a great interest in finding them false! Let the skeptics take notice.)
When the claims were presented many of the hearers were cut to the heart and eager for a remedy. There was no excuse making, no side stepping, no debating the appropriate application of the Scripture text. No one objected to having been out of town and never having heard of Jesus. (The Word of God is a sure and trustworthy scalpel when wielded by the Holy Spirit.)
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (I could spend days taking apart this verse but for the moment the word to me is “be as quick to repent as those 3000 souls.”)
Quickly repent for with God forgiveness and restoration are immediate.
About the World?
This Jesus – the one and only way.