In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
So the book of Luke could have ended with a “to be continued…” at the end of it. Go back and see where it left off and it will make total sense. The intro reads like a checklist.
- ✅3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
- ✅He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
- ✅4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
And then the Bomb is dropped…
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
They still are thinking about the Triumphal Entry. BUT you cannot blame them. They do not have the discerning Spirit yet to help them understand. And then…Jesus ascends to be with His Father. ❤️
We are in need of a 12th man to replace Judas Iscariot. Evidently, the branch he hung himself did not hold his weight (Verse 18 🤢). I guess he should have chosen “The Branch” (now that right there is good!!)
Peter as the leader of the pack, after quoting from 2 Psalms, says the new man that is chosen must have been with us the WHOLE time. He is going to be given ‘apostolic gifts’, so he must have been with us all the way back to John’s Baptism to the Reseruction. Two men fell into that category. But how to choose?? Quiz Bowl? Rock, Paper, Scissors? The Lord chooses- Matthias.
Chapter 2-The Holy Spirit Comes
2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
The Holy Spirit came down on them feeling like a strong wind from Heaven and suddenly they spoke in tongues. I LOVE that we are reading this! So many people are confused about this concept. If it comes across your path and you need to explain it to someone: just read chapter 2 to them.
6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
Remember, this is 50 days after the Passover Festival. The Feast of Weeks is being celebrated. Just like the Passover, people from ALL over have descended on the city. All the different cultures and languages. After Passover, 2.5 million people scattered back to their homes spreading what they had witnessed 50 days before. NOW, God chooses the Feast of Weeks (Harvest Festival) to spread the news of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit came upon them, they were able to speak EVERY LANGUAGE-EVERY TONGUE so that the Gospel was open to ALL. They all were able to understand.
Oh, how I love the detail Luke puts in his writing:
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Acts 14-41 I think is my new Favorite! Peter finds his voice (well, of course, the Holy Spirit). He gives the 1st public sermon and catches a lot of fish! He is now a fisher of men!!! 3,000 on his first net!
“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
He quotes directly from the book of Joel to explain what they are witnessing and then he turns his attention to the Israelites and shares the Gospel:
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Knowing they hold the Covenant of David he restates even what David had proclaimed:
6 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
Jesus is King and Messiah!
So now what?? The Israelites have heard it, their hearts felt it, so now what?? I can see Peter’s eyes looking over the crowd looking and pointing to BOTH the Jew and the Gentile equally…
8 Peter replied, “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. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
So the Church was established!!
- 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
- 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
- 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
- 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
- 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
- 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
- And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Chapter 3. The gate called Beautiful was the main gate into the Temple (not the city)
The healing of the lame man made me think of something I never thought about before. The “healing power” of the apostles. This miracle was done at the colonnade, the very place Jesus healed. Many of the Jewish Leaders witnessed it when Jesus performed them. Now the apostles performed them. You can kill Jesus, you cannot kill the Word.
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
With a crowd at attention, Peter is unglued! He is preaching! He talks about all the scriptures that led to this point in history. Peter hits the big ones: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Samuel. Then the Drop Mic moment…The Promise of Abraham from Genesis. Peter says:
He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’
Genesis 122 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”