As I read this passage, I am reminded that before Peter and the disciples took the good news of Jesus to their community, their nation and far beyond, a few essential things occurred.
Firstly, Peter and the disciples were convinced that Jesus was the Son of God and the hope for the world. After Jesus death he appeared to them many times and proved his resurrection to them by many signs, over an extended period. Jesus overcame death, he proved undoubtable that he was God, and because of this his message of hope was real and powerful.
Secondly, the disciples related with the resurrected Jesus. They sat with him, they spoke together and shared meals. He was the same Jesus before and after resurrection – the Jesus who relates, who invites and who includes people – and who commands them to do the same.
Finally, the disciples did what Jesus commanded in this passage – they waited for the promised Holy Spirit to come and infill them and empower them to be witnesses. Further on in Acts we see the results. They are filled by the Holy Spirit and they begin to share the good news. Peter and the disciples share the gospel with great anointing and authority, they are guided by the spirit towards people and they (like Jesus) open up the gospel to whole groups of people who had previously been forgotten or overlooked (the gentiles, women, the poor, and minorities), their words of invitation are accompanied with miraculous acts of healing, deliverance, freedom and restoration.
When I read this passage, I am reminded that I too am filled with the same Holy Spirit to be a messenger to all people. That I not only speak the message but that I, because the Holy Spirit lives in me, embody the message. I am challenged to live the gospel. To see people as Jesus does, to love and care for them, to listen to people and to speak of the hope of Jesus, and to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus fill me again with your Holy Spirit. Help me to be your messenger of hope, love and restoration to all those around me. I ask especially that you would give me eyes to see and ears to hear those who are lonely or feel forgotten, as you did. Amen
Written by Ps. Zoe Stewart