Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Acts 2:14-21
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 2:14
v14: On the day before Pentecost tens of thousands of pilgrims entered the city of Jerusalem. As the first stars appeared in the evening sky, priests in the Temple sounded silver trumpets to announce that the feast had begun. The offering the people themselves brought to the Lord was a loaf of leavened bread made from wheat flour, and two year-old lambs, one lamb for a sin offering and one for a peace or fellowship offering (Josephus, Antiquities, 3.10.6; 17:10.2). Shortly after midnight the temple gates were opened so the sacrificial animals the people brought with them could be inspected by lamplight to ensure they were without blemish. Many priests were kept hard at work through the night carrying out these inspections (Edersheim, Temple, Eerdmans, reprint 1988, p263).

Monday: Acts 2:14
v14 (continued): Meanwhile a priest was posted on the pinnacle of the temple to “watch for the morning.” Then, when the first ray of sunlight was seen shining on the hills around Hebron (Abraham’s ancient home, 19 miles to the southwest) the signal was given to begin the regular morning sacrifice, which would have taken place around 9:00am. Three blasts on silver trumpets called the people to assemble (Nu 10:2, 10). When this signal was heard, the multitude would have begun moving through the streets toward the temple. And it was while this was taking place that the sound of 120 (or more) voices suddenly could be heard, praising God in foreign languages.

Tuesday: Acts 2:14
v14 (continued): It’s no surprise that such boisterous worship caught the attention of many pilgrims, drawing them toward the large roof-top shelter from which the sound was coming. The narrow streets around the house were almost certainly not a satisfactory place to address the huge crowd that gathered, so at some point the disciples must have moved from the upper room to a location large enough to permit thousands to assemble and hear what would be said. The most likely site available would have been the broad southern steps which led up to the temple. In effect, these great stone steps provided an amphitheater where the crowd could sit and listen while Peter and the Eleven stood at the base of the steps speaking to those arrayed above them, thus allowing their voices to be heard by all.

Wednesday: Acts 2:14-16
vs14-16: Luke says, “And standing with the Eleven, Peter lifted up his voice and declared to them, Men, Jews, and all those living in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words, for these are not drunk as was mistakenly reported to you, for it is the third hour of the day (9:00am). But this is that which was spoken through the prophet Joel.’” Peter is now answering their question, “What does this mean?” (v12), and what he says is stunning. He announces that the last days have begun. He tells the multitude that the miracle they were observing wasn’t simply like the miracles that will happen at the end of the age, it was the first expression of those miracles.

Thursday: Acts 2:14-16
vs14-16 (continued): All the Jews who were gathered there had been taught since they were children what to expect when the Messiah would come. They all knew the different ministries He would perform when He came in power to establish His Kingdom, two of which are described by this passage in Joel. First, He will pour out the Holy Spirit on all Israel restoring their relationship with God to a far deeper level than it had ever been before. And second, He will rescue those who call on the name of the Lord. He will arrive at a time when Israel will be under attack by Gentile armies, and He will destroy those armies in a great battle (Joel 3:1-3, 9-17), the smoke of which will darken the sky until the sun and moon are barely visible through the thick gloom. The sun will grow dark and the moon will glow with an ominous red color. He will liberate Jerusalem from under the foot of the Gentiles, and an age of prosperity will begin, with Messiah Himself ruling from Jerusalem.

Friday: Acts 2:14-16
vs14-16 (continued): So, this is Peter’s announcement: “The Messiah has come, yes, in a way most of us didn’t expect because we didn’t fully understand the Scriptures, but He has come, and He is the central feature that makes the “last days” the “last days.” Just as the prophets promised, He is pouring out the Holy Spirit, and though the final battle at the end of the age hasn’t arrived, the Messiah is already rescuing all who will call on His name.” The end of the age hadn’t come yet, they all knew that. Jesus had recently made that fact very clear to them (Ac 1:6, 7), but the most wonderful part of the last days, the arrival of the Messiah, had happened. And now He was at work pouring out the Spirit, not on all Israel, but on all who believed in Him. And He was rescuing all who called on Him.

Saturday: Acts 2:17-21
vs17-21: Here is a literal translation of the passage from Joel which Peter quotes: “And it shall be in the last days, says God, I will pour out from My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy, and your young (men) will see visions and your old (men) will dream dreams, and upon My male servants and upon my female servants, in those days I will pour out from My Spirit and they will prophesy. And I will give wonders (miraculous disruptions of nature) in the heavens above (day and night sky) and signs (miracles that point to a truth about God) on the earth below, blood and fire and vapor (steam) of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and glorious (shining with light) Day of the Lord comes. And it will be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Ac 2:17-21; Joel 2:28-32).
 


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