14 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. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 “‘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. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Here we see Peter speaking to everyone living in Jerusalem. His audience would be made up from merchants, Roman soldiers and officials, their families and slaves who were stationed in the city to keep order. The Holy Spirit gives him the words to say that would reach the crowd. His sermon is logical, powerful, and he quotes from Joel 2:28-32a. The first thing Peter does is to deny that they were drunk; it was only 9 am. On this feast day, the Jews wouldn’t eat or drink until 10 am. Peter explains what has happened, that this is the beginning of the ‘last days’. He makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is for everyone, all ethnicity, genders, age, rank or station. He explains three gifts that God would use to speak directly to people, through other people; prophesy, seeing visions and having dreams. They would not be just for special peo
ple, but now everyone would start manifesting these gifts. He also speaks about signs in nature that would announce the coming of the ‘day of the Lord’.
Peter then declares ‘that whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’. This verse brings hope to the hopeless, life to those dead in sin, and forgiveness to those struggling under the burden of their sins. God’s plan of salvation is inclusive, He will save a dying thief, a prostitute, a tax cheat, hardened soldiers, self-righteous religious people, people possessed by demons, wealthy people who have everything this world can offer, absolutely everyone. Thank you Lord Jesus that you drew me to a place where I called on Your name to be saved from my sin. That you paid my price, and that You died and rose again for me.
Written by Cath Croft