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WOW Jesus 22

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Apostle Peter’s

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Today we are going to look at another person who was one of Jesus’ closest friends – the man we know as the Apostle Peter. Peter, whose name was originally Simon, but given the name Peter, by Jesus (Matthew 16:18). Peter, the great Apostle and some say the greatest Apostle! With John and James, one of the three people closest to Jesus and had seen Jesus transfigured and glowing with glory on the Mount of Transfiguration! Peter, a fisherman, was commanded to go with Jesus with the simple words “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people!” Peter, who several times was rebuked by Jesus. Peter, who was the first disciple to confess Jesus as the Christ – the long waited for Messiah! Peter, who had watched his friend, Jesus, executed. Peter, who with the other disciples, went into hiding after Jesus’ death on the cross. Peter, who publicly denied three times ever knowing Jesus of Nazareth. Peter, who showed his love of Jesus of Nazareth – having given up everything to follow, believe and receive Him.

Acts 2:22-24; 32-36 - ‘You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. This Jesus, God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’

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Here in this speech recorded in Acts 2, we see the Jesus of the Apostle Peter! This Jesus of Nazareth who was attested by many witnesses, even His enemies, to have done great signs and works of wonder – things like healing the sick, speaking words of wisdom, raising Lazarus from the dead and forgiving sins! How could Jesus of Nazareth do these wondrous miracles? Because Jesus of Nazareth, was empowered by the Holy Spirit! That’s how he could do those things!

What’s more, despite all these wondrous actions of Jesus, which were attested as being of, and from, God; Jesus of Nazareth was killed like a common criminal, by people willing to break the law to achieve it. But, that was all part of God’s perfect plan – not only for Jesus but also for humanity – because God raised Jesus from the death to show that death was powerless to contain him! Remember what the name “Jesus” means? More about that in a later study!

Unlike the mighty King David who was buried in a tomb, Jesus was free, raised up and ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father! Following His ascension, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father! From there comes the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to indwell and empower all those who proclaim to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth, having believed and received Him as Lord and Master. This Jesus, undefeated by death, now proclaimed to be both Lord and Messiah!! WOW! So not only was Jesus attested to be the long awaited for Messiah, but he was also the supreme director of all peoples – Jew and Gentile – and all created things! Peter has given evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, exaltation and glorification! All things are under the power of Jesus of Nazareth.

It was the resurrection of Jesus and subsequent infilling and empowerment by the Holy Spirit which turned Peter and the other followers of Jesus, from quivering cowards into a dynamic people we know as the early church. Oh how the Church today needs to rely on the Holy Spirit for power, wisdom and guidance rather than it sometimes does on mere human power, wisdom and guidance.

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