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Acts 2

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NTLuscombe's NT Commentary

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Verse 1

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

1. "They" is a pronoun that refers to the nearest antecedent. Mathias was added to the 11 apostles. (See also verse 14.) The "they" of this verse does not reference the 120 mentioned earlier in Act_1:15 .

2. Some have tried to have Holy Spirit baptism come on all the 120 and thus imply that this baptism is for all Christians today.

3. One accord - All the apostles remained united. They continued together because they had a common bond.

Verse 2

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

1. Sound like rushing wind - Many describe the sound of a tornado as a freight train. It would seem that this was the volume and roar that the apostles heard.

2. Filled the house - They were not out in the streets at this time. But the sound extended beyond the walls of the house. People in the streets were alarmed.

Verse 3

3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

1. Appeared - The sound was for the audio minded. Now, for the visuals there was the appearance of divided (split, cloven) tongues; for the kinetic the tongues were like fire moving in and out, up and down, like the tongue of a snake.

2. This fiery tongue seemed to sit upon each of them (the 12 apostles).

Verse 4

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

1. The apostles were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. They now had the power to speak in languages they had not learned or studied.

2. Tongues are languages. I speak (to the best of my ability) in the English tongue.

1. The miracle is the ability to speak a language the speaker has not learned.

2. Not just a word or two. English has words that originated in many other languages. This is not the abilityh to speak a word or two. But the ability to fluently speak Chinese, Russian, Portuguese would be a miracle, the gift of tongues.

3. This miracle is NOT jibberish, baby talk, heavenly language, or some supposed language of Adam.

4. Spirit gave them utterance - Peter spoke one language, Andrew another language, and so on.

Verse 5

5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

1. Jerusalem -

1. Isa_2:2-3

2. Many remained between Passover and Pentecost

2. Devout men - These men were not religious weirdos. They were Jews, dedicated to keeping the Law of Moses.

3. Every nation - Jews were scattered to all sections of the known world. But for Passover and Pentecost they were present at Jerusalem.

Verse 6

6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.

1. The roar of the wind sound was heard by more than the 12 It was also heard in the street outside. Hearing the wind roar on a calm day would cause wonder.

2. There was confusion. Now they hear these men speaking their native tongue as if they were born and raised in that language.

3. Everyone heard them speak his own language or dialect.

1. This was NOT a miracle of the ear. The miracle was of the tongue.

2. Imagine - A visitor from Vietnam enters a church building; and someone (obviously not Vietnamese) speaks to them in their native tongue. Not broken mispronounced words, but they speak the language fluently.

3. Imagine - You are a visitor in another nation. While there you look up the local church. As you enter, someone greets you in your native language and dialect as if they lived in your hometown.

Verse 7

7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, " Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?

1. These men are Galileans - They are just taught the trade of their father. They are not highly educated men. They did not study my language.

2. Galilee is the northern section of Israel. Generally speaking it was poorer, less educated. From this region there were more trade workers - carpenters, fishermen, metal smiths, candle makers, etc.

3. Just as we can tell people from another section of our country, they could tell these men were not likely men of high education and training in multiple languages.

Verse 8

8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?

1. How can they speak speak our language?

2. This is the language of our birth, our mother tongue. How can they know it?

3. There is a difference in learning a foreign language and that language being your native tongue. These men did not just speak some words. They spoke as if it was the language of their birth.

Verses 9-11

9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs-we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. "

1. This list of 16 nations or regions are listed.

2. Each understood what was being said in their native language. NOTE: 16 nations does not mean 16 difference languages were spoken.

Verse 12

12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, " Whatever could this mean? "

1. Amazed - This was an amazing event. They were in awe and wonder.

2. Perplexed - They were also puzzled. How can this be?

3. What does this mean? - There must be some purpose or meaning to this wonder.

Verse 13

13 Others mocking said, " They are full of new wine. "

1. In every crowd there will be some doubter. Some will not accept what seems so real. There were mockers and critics in the crowd.

2. The accusation was that these must must be drunk. They are full of "new wine".

1. Not "strong drink" because there was no yeast (leaven) after Passover. So it could not be a strong drink.

2. New wine refers to fresh grape juice. I have heard many say, "But they did not know how to preserve grape juice. So all of it was fermented. Not true. There were several methods of preserving fresh grape juice.

3. In the NT "Wine" is grape juice in any form - fresh, fermented, or extra strong drink.

Verse 14

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, " Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.

1. Peter (and the 11 others) stood and spoke to be heard in the crowd.

2. They raised the volume of their voice. They spoke loud to get their attention.

3. Heed my words is a way to say pay attention, listen and understand.

Verse 15

15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.

1. The apostles are not drunk as you accuse.

1. It is the 3 rd hour of the day - 9 am. It is too early in the day to be drunk.

2. New wine - grape juice - would take much longer than this

2. If not these men are not drunk, then what is the explanation?

Verse 16

16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:


1. Remember the statement of Joe_2:28-32 .

2. It is being fulfilled - NOW!

2. Here is a little bit of Bible math for you: Isa_2:1-22 + Joe_2:1-32 + Dan_2:1-49 = Act_2:1-47

3. Peter begins his sermon with a text - Joe_2:1-32

Verses 17-21

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,Your young men shall see visions,Your old men shall dream dreams.

18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.

19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke .

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord .

21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. '

1. God will do the pouring out.

2. Blood, vapor, smoke, darkness, moon into blood are terms used to indicate the rise and/or fall of a kingdom. These are the signs of a change of government.

3. This kingdom is spiritual, not political.

4. Salvation will be offered in this new kingdom.

Verse 22

22 " Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-

1. Sermon - Point 1 - Jesus is known to you

1. From Nazareth - While He was born in Bethlehem, and spent some time in Egypt, His hometown is Nazareth.

2. Jesus performed miracles, wonders, signs - in your midst. Peter does not need to prove this point. Everyone had seen and heard of these miracles.

Verse 23

23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

1. Sermon - Point 2 - You killed Him

1. God has a plan - determined purpose - We may not know or understand the plan of God, but His plan will be accomplished.

2. God knew in advance what would happen. We call this foreknowledge.

3. They were lawless. Sin is lawlessness. While they were Jews, in Jerusalem to observe a Jewish festival, they were not following the Law of Moses.

4. You crucified Christ. Peter does not pull any punches. He clearly says that the Jews put Jesus to death. NOTE: This does not exempt the Romans, the Jewish leaders, the High Priest, or any others that were participants in His death.

Verse 24

24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

1. Sermon - Point 3 - God raised Him from the dead

1. God is the one who raised Jesus up from the dead. God opened the tomb. God sent the angels to let the women know of the resurrection.

2. Jesus suffered the pains of death. Now He was loosed (freed) from those pains.

3. It was not possible for death to keep Jesus. It was not in God's plan and purpose for Jesus to remain in the tomb.

Verse 25

25 For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.

1. Sermon - Point 3 - Sub point 1 - David prophesied this

1. Psa_16:8-11

Verse 26

26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.

1. Even in death there can be rejoicing and gladness. Death is a time of mourning. But it can also be a celebration of life and victory.

2. The flesh (body) will have rest - from pain, stress, agony and torture. The body of Jesus went through a tremendous amount of pain in the 24 hours before His death.

3. But even our stressed, diseased body will have hope.

1. HOPE is a combination of Desire and Expectation.

2. Desire alone becomes our wishes, our dreams.

3. Expectation alone is a dread and fear.

Verse 27

27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

1. God promises that Jesus' soul will not remain in Hades. Hades is a term for the place of departed spirits.

1. Two sections - Torment and Paradise

2. A great gulf separates the two sections.

2. While Jesus will die. His body will not see corruption. He will not be dead long enough for decay to occur.

Verse 28

28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence. '

1. We learn much about what happens at the time of death for this passage. While the body is in the darkness of the tomb, the soul is in the presence of God.

2. Hades is God's presence, under His control.

Verse 29

29 " Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

1. Sermon - Point 3 - Sub point 2 - David is still dead

1. This passage ( Psa_16:1-11 ) can not be speaking about David.

2. David died, is buried, his grave is marked, still there to this day (1,000 years later).

Verse 30

30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,

1. Sermon - Point 3 - Sub point 3 - Psa_16:1-11 is talking about Christ

1. David is a prophet - a spokesman for God. He wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

2. Fruit of his loins - Christ came from the lineage of David.

3. Christ would establish a kingdom as the rightful heir to the throne from David.

Verse 31

31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.

1. David spoke about the resurrection of Christ.

2. His (Christ's) soul would not remain in Hades.

3. His (Christ's) body would not see corruption.

Verse 32

32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.

1. Peter and the other 11 were witnesses to his resurrection.

2. They saw him alive after his death. They met with Him. They ate breakfast with Him. They were with Him when he ascended.

Verse 33

33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

1. Sermon - Conclusion - Therefore

2. Christ NOW:

1. Is by the right hand of God - in a place of power and honor.

2. Received of the Father the promise. See Dan_7:13-14 .

3. Because of this you have been a participant in these events.

Verse 34

34 " For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:‘The Lord said to my Lord, " Sit at My right hand,

1. David did not ascend to heaven, he went to Hades. David is clearly talking about someone else. He recognizes this person as his Lord, higher in power and authority than the king of Israel.

2. Psa_68:18 is a statement about Christ, not David.

3. Psa_110:1

1. David saw someone higher than himself

2. He called this person - LORD

Verse 35

35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool. "'

1. Enemies - literal - those who killed Jesus

2. Enemies - figurative - death - last enemy to be destroyed ( 1Co_15:25-26 )

3. Enemies - spiritual - Satan - 1Jn_3:8

4. Footstool - Before Lazy Boy recliners, the footstool was a place to prop up your feet and rest.

5. Footstool - In the OT it was often used as a figure of speech for a one in a position of power and authority. His power rests on those beneath him.

Verse 36

36 " Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. "

1. Sermon - Summation and Conclusion

2. This Jesus whom you killed -

3. God raised up.

4. God made Him:

1. LORD - Ruler, Master, Owner, one in control and power

2. CHRIST - The Anointed One - In Hebrew the word is "Messiah".

Verse 37

37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, " Men and brethren, what shall we do? "

1. How will we react to the teaching about Christ? These people were cut to the heart. They were touched deeply and moved to respond.

2. What shall we do?

1. Asked in different words 3 times in Acts - Act_9:6 and Act_16:30

2. The different answers are because it depends on where you are at that moment.

Verse 38

38 Then Peter said to them, " Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1. Repent means to turn again. It indicates that we made a wrong turn. Now we need to turn around our thinking and actions. We need to head in a new direction.

2. Be baptized.

1. Who - every one of you - individually, not collectively

2. What authority - in the name of Jesus Christ

3. Why - What purpose - For the remission of sins

4. Why - What advantage - Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

Verse 39

39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. "

1. This not a "one time" offer. It is an open invitation.

2. To all men - all nations - any time, any place, any day, any hour. The invitation is open until Jesus comes.

3. This salvation is available to you, to your children, to your grandchildren. It is wide open to all all men of all nations.

4. God calls men by the gospel. ( 2Th_2:14 ) As you read this, you have been called. Will you obey the call or disregard it?

Verse 40

40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, " Be saved from this perverse generation. "

1. The invitation did not end the sermon. Much more was said. The sermon was more than these few minutes as recorded here.

2. Sermon was short, but the invitation was L O N G.

Verse 41

41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

1. Those that received the word - Many listened, heeded, believed, decided to obey.

2. The number baptized on Pentecost was about 3,000. Who was keeping count?

3. Added to them - Who is "them"? In order to add - you have to have an initial number. Then you can add to that number for a new, larger sum. What was the initial number to which the 3,000 were added?

1. The 12 apostles?

2. The 120 in the upper room in Act_1:1-26 ?

3. The 500 who saw Jesus after His resurrection?

4. The disciples and followers of Jesus (baptized with John's baptism) who remained believers and followers? I believe this is the correct situation.

Verse 42

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles ' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

1. Four of the five items of worship mentioned here.

1. Apostle's doctrine (teaching, preaching)

2. Fellowship - giving, sharing

3. Breaking bread - communion

4. Prayers

5. Not on this list - singing (see Eph_5:19 ; Col_3:16 )

Verse 43

43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

1. Fear - not fear like dread. This fear is awe, wonder, amazement, as in "Fear God" and keep His commandments.

2. Many miracles were done by apostles.

Verse 44

44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

1. All believers bonded together. There was a common faith and commitment that bound them together.

2. Had all things in common because they willingly shared what they had for the good of the entire group. We teach small children to share. Adults often forget to share.

1. Iron rule - Yours is mine; I will take it - thieves

2. Silver rule - Mine is mine; I will keep it

3. Golden rule - Mine is yours; you can use it

Verse 45

45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

1. Are you willing to share your possessions? What would it take for you to sell land, house, car, boat (trailer, motor, fish finder, and all)?

2. Divided among all - as there was a need. Our problem today is our "need" list includes many "wants" that are not needed.

3. Is this communism? In one sense, YES. It is the mutual sharing so none is above the rest. However, they did so as willing participants. They were not forced to share. They did so freely.

Verse 46

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

1. Daily

1. In the temple - public teaching, baptizing

2. House to house - eating, talking, sharing

2. Filled with gladness - Do you remember the Dial soap commercial? Aren't you glad you are a Christian? Don't you wish everyone was?

3. Simplicity of heart - Simple is not ignorant, low IQ, or lacking mental ability. It is a sincere, pure heart.

4. See Col_3:22 - work with "singleness of heart" (KJV)

Verse 47

47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

1. They continually praised God. Their praise of God was more than Sunday for one hour. It was a daily, hourly and minute by minute praise of God.

2. They grew in favor with the people.

3. The Lord added to the church

1. Which church? The only church that existed. The church Jesus died for. The church He purchased with His own blood.

2. Who did the adding? The Lord added. Not a vote of members.

3. Can you "join" the church?

4. Are you voted in?

4. As they were being saved (baptized, sins washed away) God added them to the church. The same process that saves, adds you to the church. The same process that makes you part of the church, saves you from sins.

Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Acts 2". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mlc/acts-2.html. 2021.
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