Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, 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 2:14-21 NIV
Peter addresses the crowd assembled at Pentecost, explaining the miracle of everyone hearing the disciples’ words in their own language. First, he makes it clear that no, they are not drunk, it was only 9 am. Second, this relatively uneducated fisherman from Galilee, quotes the prophet Joel. Third, he accurately applies this Old Testament prophecy to the miracle that just occurred. Peter says that God has poured out His Spirit on Jesus’ disciples and that is why each of the people heard them talking in their own native tongue.
The prophet Joel told us God brought judgement on Israel because of their sin, but God’s desire was to offer forgiveness, compassion, and salvation – if the people were willing to repent and seek God. The verses Peter quotes in this speech also speak of the age of the Messiah and of the end times. Peter used this passage to explain that Jesus is the Messiah, that His promised Holy Spirit has come and has been poured out on His people, and that the Messianic age had come.
Moses had spoken of his desire for all the people, “I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” Numbers 11:29b. Peter is saying that it has happened! Peter says God’s Spirit is available to all, young and old, men and women, “and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” Acts 2:21. Peter makes it clear that salvation does not depend on age, sex, rank or nationality.
Ezekiel had spoken of something similar as well. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness,” Ezekiel 36:26-29a.
The promises in Joel and Ezekiel are truly incredible. Spend some time asking the Holy Spirit to teach you what you need to hear about God, about what the next thing is that He wants you to do. Listen to the Spirit as He softens your heart and molds you as He desires.
By Grace Hunter