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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 2 - Verse 14

Verse 14. But Peter. This was in accordance with the natural temperament of Peter. He was bold, forward, ardent; and he rose now to defend the apostles of Jesus Christ, and Christ himself, from an injurious charge. Not daunted by ridicule or opposition, he felt that now was the time for preaching the gospel to the crowd that had been assembled by curiosity. No ridicule should deter Christians from an honest avowal of their opinions, and a defence of the operations of the Holy Spirit.

With the eleven. Matthias was now one of the apostles, and now appeared as one of the witnesses for the truth. They probably all arose, and took part in the discourse. Possibly Peter began to discourse, and either all spoke together in different languages, or one succeeded another.

Ye men of Judea. Men who are Jews; that is, Jews by birth. The original does not mean that they were permanent dwellers in Judea, but that they were Jews, of Jewish families. Literally, "men, Jews."

And all ye that dwell, etc. All others besides native-born Jews, whether proselytes or strangers, who were abiding at Jerusalem. This comprised, of course, the whole assembly, and was a respectful and conciliatory introduction to his discourse. Though they had mocked them, yet he treated them with respect, and did not render railing for railing, (1 Pe 3:9,) but sought to convince them of their error.

Be this known, etc. Peter did not intimate that this was a doubtful matter, or one that could not be explained. His address was respectful, yet firm. He proceeded calmly to show them their error. When the enemies of religion deride us or the gospel, we should answer them kindly and respectfully, yet firmly. We should reason with them coolly, and convince them of their error, Pr 15:1. In this case Peter acted on the principle which he afterwards enjoined on all. 1 Pe 3:15, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." The design of Peter was to vindicate the conduct of the apostles from the reproach of intoxication, to show that this could be no other than the work of God; and to make an application of the truth to his hearers. This he did,

(1.) by showing that this could not be reasonably supposed to be the effect of new wine, Ac 2:15.

(2.) That it had been expressly predicted in the writings of the Jewish prophets, Ac 2:16-21.

(3.) By a calm argument, proving the resurrection and ascension of Christ, and showing that this also was in accordance with the Jewish Scriptures, Ac 2:22-35. We are not to suppose that this was the whole of Peter's discourse, but that these were the topics on which he insisted, and the main points of his argument.

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