Jesus’ last words to the apostles were, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about” (Acts 1:4).
His friends waited in Jerusalem. The gift Jesus spoke about was the power of the Holy Spirit. It came on Pentecost when people from many nations were in Jerusalem. Tongues of fire rested on each of the apostles and they began to speak in languages the people could understand. Peter explained, “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:16:21).
Peter had the attention of the people and continued to speak with great power. He said, “Let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, who you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” The people felt helpless and asked what they must do. Peter said, “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” (Acts 2:36-38). Peter used many other words to warn the people, and that day about 3,000 people accepted the message and were baptized.
While the apostles were still in Jerusalem, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John. They were disturbed because the apostles proclaimed the resurrection of the dead in Jesus. Even though they seized Peter and John, the number of believers grew to about 5,000 (Acts 4:4).
THINK ABOUT IT
The same power that raised Jesus from the grave was at work in Peter and John. These were not educated men, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, they made convincing statements that led people to believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. This same power is at work in believers today. We are a kingdom of priests, called to tell the truth. Will you rely on this strength to speak boldly about God’s amazing love to a dark and dying world? I assure you, many people need to now the love of Jesus–mercy instead of judgement, peace instead of anxiety and hope instead of hopelessness.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Jesus and His sacrifice that brought about the forgiveness of our sins. Help us to live in the power of our salvation, to show compassion to others and to speak of your love to those who need to hear it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.