Acts 2:42- Acts 3 – By the Spirit We Are Conspicuous
What did you learn about the Holy Spirit?
- When He fills the disciples, they can do wondrous things in Jesus’ name (3:6,12).
What did you learn about the Spirit-filled community?
- They live in community, sharing everything and praying together (2:42-47).
- They grow as people are being saved (2:47).
Notes from Pastor Mark
One of the most noteworthy things about Jesus’ preaching ministry was how often He told people to be quiet about Him. Jesus would perform some great act of healing- a lame person would suddenly be made to walk or a deaf person given hearing or a blind person given sight- the GREATEST moment in their life, and then the one who gave them that life-changing gift said, “Shhhhhh… don’t tell anyone what I just did for you!” Of course, that was about as effective as the angels who always say, “Do not be afraid,” and the listeners are always terrified anyhow! The person with new legs or ears or eyes ALWAYS ran off, blabbing about it. How could they not? Wouldn’t you?
Jesus didn’t want people talking about Him because He knew that it would only draw more negative attention from the religious leaders who already wanted to kill Him. Still, Jesus tried to keep things on the down-low for most of His ministry.
Not so when we come to the book of Acts, however! From the beginning, the Holy Spirit hits the disciples like a firestorm, and the whole community notices! On Pentecost, the same Peter who had denied that he even knew Jesus is now preaching about the resurrected Christ with such power that 3,000 people become believers. And thousands more take note! And if that weren’t gutsy enough, when we come to Acts 3, we find Peter and John going to the temple to teach just as Jesus did. Right in the middle of everything! And they have an encounter with a man who was crippled from birth. He is begging for money from them but Pete and John reply with these powerful words: “Look at us! Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” And he did!
Notice the response of onlookers. Verse 9-10: “When all the people saw him walking and praising God… they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Again in verse 11, with the beggar clinging to the guys who had given him new life (he didn’t want to let them go!), “all the people were astonished and came running to them” as they stood in that part of the temple square. Later on in Acts, we will hear the disciples described as those who were “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, RSV).
Obviously, the mighty miracles being done by the apostles drew attention to the Jesus they were proclaiming. But I would suggest that the “world-upending” work of the Spirit actually began in a quieter way. Re-read Acts 2:42-47. THIS is the description of how the Holy Spirit works when He has His way with His people. This is a picture of the Church as Jesus wants it to look. Read through that description and ask yourself, “If I am a part of the Church of Jesus (in other words, His gathered people, that’s what “church” means), how much of this is true of us? And of me?”
I would urge you to re-read and mull those six revolutionary verses. Are you “devoted” to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship?” Do you welcome fellow believers into your home to break bread? Are you a person of prayer? Are you generous with your possessions? Do you enjoy the “favor of all the people” because of your influence? There it is again…the people of Jesus living conspicuous lives of Godly influence. If that can’t be said of you, ask the Holy Spirit to make you a more conspicuous example of Jesus today.