Acts 2 – 2019-08-14
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- CHAPTER 2 COMMENTARY
v.2-4: “The coming of the Spirit is described in three carefully constructed parallel statements, each pointing to an aspect of the even: a sound came…and it filled the house (v.2); tongues appeared…and one sat on each of them (v.3); they were filled with the Holy Spirit…and began to speak in other tongues (v.4). The emphasis is on the objectivity of the event. It was audible, visible, and manifested itself in an outward demonstration of inspired speech.”
Two things happened to the disciples after the Spirit came: They ‘were filled with the Holy Spirit’ and ‘began to speak in other tongues’ (v.4). The ‘tongues’ are different from those described in 1 Corinthians 12-14 because, unlike there, ‘God-fearing Jews’ from the Diaspora were able to understand what was being said. They exclaimed, ‘We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’ (Acts 2:11)… At the start of what may be called ‘the era of the Spirit,’ he assisted in the work of witness in a way that depicts the gospel going to the ends of the earth. The sign fit in with the Spirit’s role in enabling the church’s worldwide witness (Acts 1:8). As a result, about three thousand people were ‘added to their number that day’ (2:41).”
v.12-13: “The miraculous is not self-authenticating, nor does it inevitably and uniformly convince. There must also be the preparation of the heart and the proclamation of the message if miracles are to accomplish their full purpose.
“Pentecost also signals the breaking of barriers that have separated the human race since Babel, with the formation of a new humanity in Christ. In other words Pentecost reverses what happened at Babel. […] Moreover, people no longer need to build up to the heavens in search of the significance they lost when they were thrown out of the garden of Eden. God has now sent his Spirit down to us and lifted our experience to a new level of significance. ‘Babel and Eden are not ’undone’ as much as they are redeemed and their negative effects nullified.’”
v.24-28: “The resurrection occupies nine verses of Peter’s sermon. The language of verse 24 is graphic. The bible often refers to the resurrection as an act of God (‘God raised him’), which is in keeping with the fact that it was God’s accreditation of the person and work of Christ […] The next statement, ‘It was impossible for death to keep its hold on him,’ clearly shows that Peter is using the resurrection as a validation of Jesus’ life and ministry. Because he is Messiah, he cannot remain dead. G. Bertram describes beautifully what Peter is saying: ‘The abyss can no more hold the Redeemer than a pregnant woman can hold the child in her body.’
In verses 25-28 Peter quotes Psalm 16:8-11, where David anticipates a resurrection. Then he goes on to argue that, since David did not rise from the dead, this passage must be referring to David’s great Son, Jesus. Longenecker explains how the apostles followed the exegetical precedent set by Jesus in interpreting Psalm 110 as a messianic psalm (cf. Mark 12:35-37) as well as Psalm 16 (which as similar phrases)[…] Peter clinches his argument for the resurrection with his claim: ‘We are all witnesses of the fact’ (v.32).”
v.36: “Peter claims first that Jesus is ‘Lord.’ With the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus, the disciples now fully understand the implications of who he is….”
“His messiahship, acclaimed at his baptism, was confirmed by his resurrection; by it he was ‘designated Son of God in power’ (Rom. 1:4). But he has been exalted not only as Messiah and Son of God, but as Lord. The first apostolic sermon concludes with the first apostolic creed: ‘Jesus is Lord’ (cf. Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:11) – ‘Lord’ not only as a bearer of a courtesy title but as bearer of ‘the name which is above every name’ (Phil. 2:9). To a Jew there was only one name ‘above every name’ – the ineffable name of the God of Israel […] That the early Christians meant to give Jesus the title ‘Lord’ in this highest sense of all is indicated by their not hesitating on occasion to apply to him passages of Old Testament scripture referring to Yahweh. Indeed, in this very context it may well be that the promise of Joel 2:32, ‘all who call on Yahweh’s name shall be delivered,’ is viewed as being fulfilled in those members of Peter’s audience who repentantly invoke Jesus as Lord.”
 John B. Pohill, The New American Commentary: Acts. vol.26 (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1992), 97.
 Ajith Fernando, Acts, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 87-88.
 Expositor’s Bible Commentary, New Testament. Acts. Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen.Ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976-1992).
 Ajith Fernando, Acts, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 90-91.
 Ajith Fernando, Acts, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 103.
 Ajith Fernando, Acts, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 105-106.
 F.F. Bruce, The Book of Acts, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988), 68.
- Bible Text: Acts 2:1-13 (ESV)1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews andproselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
- Study Questions:
- Acts 2:5-13
- Consider this picture of “men from every nation under heaven” (v. 5) listening to the disciples declaring “the mighty works of God” (v. 11) in their own languages. What does this dissolving of communication barriers signify regarding the mission of the newly Spirit-filled believers?
- What words describe the various responses of the listeners to this event? What are some parallels to the range of modern-day responses to the preaching of the gospel?
- In what ways does this passage challenge me, resonate with parts of my own story, or identify where I am today?