ACTS 2:22 - 28

Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him: ‘I saw the Lord always before me. 

Because he is at my right hand,

I will not be shaken.

26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

my body also will rest in hope,

27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,

you will not let your holy one see decay.

28 You have made known to me the paths of life;

you will fill me with joy in your presence.”

Sometimes our greatest ministry occurs when we are forged in the fires of disappointment, pain and suffering. Try to see where the disciples were coming from in this scripture. They knew that Jesus was anointed of God; they eventually knew He had come to save Israel. They initially had their own ideas of what that might mean. Jesus’s suffering, death and resurrection, made them feel surprised, disappointed and perplexed. In addition, they felt guilty about how they ran away when Jesus was arrested. They were distressed by His crucifixion, death and amazed by His resurrection. They forgot everything Jesus told them about it. By the time Peter began preaching in today’s reading, the Holy Spirit had given Peter and the other disciples a staggering revelation of Jesus as Son of God as well as His knowing submission to the Cross, thus becoming our Saviour.

In addition to the anointing of the Holy Spirit and these amazing revelations of God, they had also spent 50 days of praying together in obedience to Jesus. Before His crucifixion, He commanded them to stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit was poured out (Luke 24:49). The disciples experienced the pain of the loss of Jesus, whom they had followed every day for the last 3 years, but still they kept on praying. I am sure there would have been many distractions in their time as ours. Nevertheless, they stayed focused on Jesus. How do we know this? Peter’s words (quoting David in Psalm 16) tell us:

“‘I saw the Lord always before me.

Because he is at my right hand,

I will not be shaken.

26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

my body also will rest in hope…”

They refused to be shaken because they “saw the Lord always before me”.

They went to the presence of God in prayer, they saw the Lord always, they refused to be shaken despite the hostility of their government. They followed Jesus’ instructions faithfully. 

Eventually after many days of prayer, the anointing of the Holy Spirit fell on them all. Peter became transformed into the bold, anointed preacher of this scripture. This scripture tells us about Peter’s testimony of staying focused on Jesus and not allowing himself to be shaken, despite the very severe trials and suffering he had experienced.

We need to learn to press in when we pray. We need to see Jesus, to be close to Him and to persevere until God pours His Spirit out on us. We need God to: “ 28 make known to me the paths of life.” We need Him to fill us with joy in His Presence.

Suggested prayer: Heavenly Father. May we pray and keep on praying until we see Jesus. May we keep praying until we always see you before us. We pray You “make known to us the paths of life and fill me with joy in your presence” as David and Peter testified. In Jesus Name. Amen.