We return in Acts to the scene in an upper room in Jerusalem. Amid the wind and flames of the Holy Spirit and the languages declaring the mighty works of God, there was awe and wonder. There was also confusion and derision. One group asked, “What does this mean?” while another group mocked and said, “They have had too much wine.” Before chaos could take over Peter stood up.
This is a beautiful fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy. When He declared that Satan had permission to sift Peter He also assured Peter that he would not fail his Lord. He said “When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). Because He knew Peter would. And here the disciple stands with his brothers to encourage and strengthen them.
Peter explained that this was Joel’s prophecy come to life when every nation and every gender and every age would declare the Word of the Lord. Judaism was an exclusive religion. Jesus came to break down every barrier to God. Joel’s words were the promise that the Spirit of God would no longer be reserved for Israel but would be a universal gift to all believers of every nation, gender, and age. Even Gentiles. And women. And men young and old.
“In those days,” gives way to apocalyptic imagery of wonders and signs and blood, fire, and smoke. This is generally believed to refer to the final cosmic events preceding the return of Christ, which Peter assumed was very near. There’s a whole lot here that we don’t have time to unpack because the point of Peter’s message was not the impending return – it was the wide open door to heaven.
When God called Abraham and established the Jewish nation, he drew a distinctive line between those who were “in” and those who were “out.” Now, because of Jesus, everyone was welcome to come in. When the curtain in the temple was torn in two at Jesus’ death, the rip started at the top (Matt 27:51). Now all nations and all genders and all ages were invited to the house of God. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).
That means you, Beloved. God gave His one and only Son to save you. To welcome you to His family and His house and His eternal heaven. No matter your family or your gender or your age. God won’t even hold your past sins and mistakes against you. Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me I will not drive away” (John 6:37). The only thing you have to be is willing.