Saturday, January 10, 2015

Acts 2:1-21

The make-up of the apostles having been Peter's concern, we would have expected an extrapolation from that, in this chapter.  But no: Luke looks at the beginning group of all of Christianity, gathered together then, in one place.  But it's now the "not many days from now" of 1:5, and it happens to be in the morning (1:15).  In something reminiscent of the difference between the loaves and fish, versus the feeding of the thousands, something similar is about to happen in Acts.  Did the disciples anticipate the change in the magnitude of the scope?  Did they think that they alone were going to be recipients of the Holy Spirit, or that the time coming would be a similar time to the last few years, spreading out as a small group, teaching two by two, with power?

Jesus had said they would receive power (1:8); He had said "you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (1:5).  But He didn't say it was going to be only them.  To spread twelve "to the remotest part of the earth" would be to have a very isolated group, if it were going to be twelve.

But at Pentecost, the world of "Jews and proselytes" (2:10) was represented.  The remotest known part of the earth was within earshot of them.  God had arranged it for the world to hear the witnesses to His Son, but how were they actually going to hear?  Were they polled beforehand, to see if they had extra time for another meeting?  What the disciples might have found daunting, God, having concern for the uttermost parts the world, ministered to the world's representatives, as only God could have done.

These gathered could not have known the various languages, at least a dozen, in a dozen years, but in the space of one day, representatives of the world who speak these languages, heard Christ's witnesses speaking them, saying things about "the mighty deeds of God" (2:11).

Here, before there were church councils, disputes about the gospel, imposters within the church, things eventually that all would come about -- God started the witnesses to Christ on the right track, speaking of the mighty deeds of God in the hearing of representatives of the world.  And Peter preached how it was prophesied in "what was spoken through the prophet" (2:16).  They were prophesying.  And it was prophesied, that they would.

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