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Acts 2:14-42: Proclaiming the Message to the World
One of the missions of the followers of Jesus will be telling the world about Jesus. That message will center on who Jesus is and his being raised from the dead.

Verses 14 to 36: Peterís message.

Some things to notice about these verses:

  • Preaching. One of the things that will characterize almost all gatherings of Christians is preaching: a telling or proclamation of the good news of Jesus. Peter gives the first recorded Christian sermon.
  • Telling about Jesus. It may seem obvious to us that Peter tells the story of Jesus, but think about what else he could have done. He could have talked about the Holy Spirit. He could have led them in a ritual, or established himself as a leader or miracle worker or asked them for money. Instead he directs their attention to Jesus.
  • In verses 17 to 21 Peter quotes Joel 2.28-32. This is one of the prophetic books of the Old Testament. The Christian church will keep the Jewish scriptures and regard them as holy writings. Again, that wasnít always obvious in the first years of the church. Some Christians wanted to abandon the Jewish scripture as obsolete. The overwhelming majority of the church decided against doing that.
  • What is told about Jesus? What are the core elements of the message about Jesus? Peter cites Jesusí miracles as a proof that Jesus was on a divine mission. Peter also describes Jesusí unjust death and his surprising resurrection.
  • "upon all of us." "upon all men" or "all flesh" in other translations. The word in the original Greek certainly includes women.
  • 9:00 in the morning (Some translations say "the third hour."). Of course, people are fully capable of getting drunk at all hours of the day and night. The point Peter is making is that this gathering is a prayer service of Jews. Obedient Jews fasted before they went to the 9:00 a.m. prayer service, and only after that was done did they eat or drink for the first time during the day.


Verses 37-41: The response to Peter and Peterís second message.

Some things to notice about these verses:

  • Verse 37: The response to the message. The telling of the story about Jesus produces a reaction. That reaction is dismay. People are touched and saddened that they were part of a group that did such a horrible thing.
  • Verses 38 to 41: The second part of the message. Only after people respond and ask what they should do does Peter tell them what God demands: repentance and belief. Repentance literally means to "turn around." It means to turn away from sin and turn to God. Notice that Peter does not demand a punishment from them. Indeed, he promises that they will also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the name of Jesus: as someone who believes in Jesus and gives loyalty to Jesus.
  • Baptism (literally "washing") was a ritual for confession and repentance used by a number of religious movements. John the Baptist had baptized people, including Jesus. There is no record of any of the apostles being baptized, but being baptized will be the way believers come to be members of the Christian religion.
  • Save yourself. Saved from what? Saved from bad influences. From the consequences of doing the wrong thing. Saved from rejecting Jesus.

Last updated 12/16/00; © 2000 John P. Nordin