FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
WE ARE PROPHETIC WITNESSES
April 1, 2013
Today’s reading: Acts 2:14-32
Today is the day after the resurrection. “God raised this Jesus” (Acts 2:32a). What now?
On the day of Pentecost, Peter said, “of this we are all witnesses.” (Acts 2:32b). We recall the final words of Jesus before he ascended into heaven. “You are witnesses of these things.” (Lk 24:48). The disciples were witnesses to the resurrection and to everything Jesus said and did. He would suffer, die and be raised. Then his disciples would do their part. What was that? “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations” (Lk 24:46-47).
The disciples of Jesus were commissioned to preach repentance, so that people would be brought back to God and thus experience the salvation already won for them by Jesus on the cross. They were being sent to proclaim this good news to the whole world.
Peter spoke of the prophet Joel and what “will come to pass in the last days” (Acts 2:17a). We are already in the last days. What Jesus spoke of as the signs of when the end will come are already with us, especially the loss of faith and the mounting persecution of Christians (Mt 24:9,12).
What is God’s move? God “will pour out a portion of (His) spirit upon all flesh.” (Acts 17b). It is God who works in and through us. It is God who empowers us through His Spirit. What is the effect on us? “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, …. my servants and my handmaids …. shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17c,18). To prophesy is to act and speak in the name of God. It is to speak God’s truth. We are God’s instruments, directly used by Him to proclaim the truth of the gospel.
What is the effect on those who hear? It is the very purpose of evangelization. People hear the gospel, believe, and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Thus, “it shall be that everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 2:21).
Now Jesus worked “mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him” (Acts 2:22). God worked through him, and if it is God who works, then such works will be mighty and awesome. Now God also works in and through us. We are His instruments. Thus Jesus says that we would also do the works he does, and even greater ones than those (Jn 14:12). As God pours out a portion of His Spirit upon us, He says, “I will work wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below” (Acts 2:19a).
If we BE.LI.EV.E, we too will see and experience that faith works wonders.
We are in the end times. We look to “the coming of the great and splendid day of the Lord” (Acts 2:20b). Until that time, like Peter let us stand up, raise our voices, and proclaim to all (Acts 2:14a). Let the gospel be known to them, as they listen to our words (Acts 2:14c).
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