Acts 2:14–25 (NKJV)
After the miraculous appearance of a mighty wind and tongues of fire, the disciples dispersed from the upper room speaking in languages that they had never spoken, nor understood. They spoke the mighty works of God in the languages of many who had assembled in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost and for commerce. These people were astonished at the sight and began to speculate as to the nature of the occurrence. Peter stood and began an explanation in the form of a sermon.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.Acts 2:14-15
Peter had established himself over the last three years as the unabashed, outgoing, sometimes headstrong spokesman for the group of disciples that followed Jesus. He had no problem addressing an individual or a crowd when the occasion called for such action. With the crowds on the day of Pentecost stirring, uncertain of what strange magic they witnessed on this day, Peter saw a need and an opportunity. He stood, rough and loud, and got the attention of the thousands who may have been standing in the streets and markets on this eventful day.
16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,Acts 2:16-21
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Shall be saved.’
Peter then proceeds to quote Joel chapter 2 concerning the outpouring of the Spirit prophesied therein. He spoke of prophecies, dreams, visions, the end of time hastening, and the overarching blessing of the Spirit of God being poured out on all flesh. Peter ushered in a new era of life with God, that was inclusive and full of grace. He did not say that everyone would receive, but that the opportunity was now there for everyone, and that they must call on the name of the Lord. This simple act of true faith would transform lives. The promises of old were coming true through Jesus Christ and the promised (and delivered) Holy Spirit outpouring. This was enticing, attractive, and new. Jesus had made a way, and had brought the promise home to not just the Jews, but to all people everywhere. You can be saved. You can have a relationship with God. You can be full of the Spirit.
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the LORD always before my face,Acts 2:22-25
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
Peter ends this introduction to his sermon by reiterating the message of Jesus Christ. He gives a synopsis of Jesus’ life: miracle-worker, God-sent, purposed, crucified, raised up, overcoming, irrepressible, unshakeable. This is the man to whom we give allegiance. This is God Himself, who came in the flesh. This is the promised Spirit you see moving among us. This is the explanation you desire and need. Don’t be afraid, just believe.