WHAT THEY COULD HAVE PREACHED
1. It was in Jerusalem, about seven weeks after Jesus was crucified.
A. And the apostles were waiting for the "power" which the Lord had promised. Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:8.
2. It was the day of Pentecost, "THAT great and notable day", Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20.
3. As had been promised, the Holy Spirit came to guide the apostles "into all the truth". Jno. 16:13.
4. The preaching that is recorded for us is really very brief, Acts 2:14-39, and can be easily read in about two minutes.
A. But, vs. 40 declares "With many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation."
1) So, rather than preaching for only about two minutes, they more than likely preached for several hours.
5. During His ministry, Jesus had attracted crowds numbering in the thousands, Matt. chapters 14 and 15 (14:14,15; 15:30).
6. And even though "the common people heard him gladly", Mk. 12:37, the rulers opposed Him and sought to arrest and to execute Him.
7. His teaching was very unique, Matt. 7:28,29, even the guards that were sent to arrest Him stated: "Never man so spake," Jno. 7:46.
8. His miracles were known to all throughout Judea and Galilee, and even those trying to trap Him recognized His power, Matt. 12:38,39; Mk. 3:1-6.
9. And all knew that He had foretold His own resurrection, Jno. 2:19-22; Matt. 20:17-19.
A.For this reason, the Jews asked Pilate to place a guard over the tomb, Matt. 27:62-66.
1) Still the body of Jesus "disappeared."
10. Can you imagine the type of talk that must have prevailed in Jerusalem seven weeks after Jesus was put to death on the cross?
A. His ministry, His teaching and His miracles must have been upon the lips of everyone.
B. And surely everyone was talking about the crucifixion and the empty tomb.
C. So, what a setting for a sermon this must have been!
1) There is so much that Peter could have said, and so little recorded of what he did say.
a. But notice what Acts 2:40 says: "With many other words he testified, and exhorted them..."
11. So, considering all the events that led up to this day, what could Peter have said at this time?
I. HE COULD HAVE PREACHED ON THE BIRTH OF JESUS IN BETHLEHEM.
A. When the wise men came to Herod asking, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews?" Matt. 2:2.
1. Herod asked the Jews, "where the Christ should be born", v. 4.
a. The Jews knew the answer: "It is written through the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah...out of thee shall come forth a governor, who shall be shepherd of my people Israel", Matt. 2:5,6.
1) And, as the prophet had foretold, He was born in the city of Bethlehem, Matt. 2:1; Lk. 2:1-7.
B. A curious prophecy is found in Isa. 7:14, "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son."
1. How can such a thing be?
a. This is what Mary wondered too, when she was told that she would bear a son who would be the Son of God and would rule on David's throne, Lk. 1:31,-33.
1) But Mary was a virgin, and she asked: "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" v. 34.
a) The angel explained that the child would be begotten by God.
b) The angel also explained it to Joseph: "All this came to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet..." Matt. 1:22,23.
(1) Then follows the quotation from Isa. 7:14.
(a) Mary was that virgin, Jesus that Son.
C. Peter, in telling of the virgin birth of Jesus, and as a part of the "many other words" of vs. 40, could have told of the story of the shepherds, Lk. 2:8-20, and of the wise men, Matt. 2:1-12.
1. He could have said to the multitude on that occasion:
a. "Were any of you in Bethlehem at that time?'
b. "Did any of you talk to the shepherds about what they saw and heard?"
c. "Did any of you see the star that led the wise men to the exact spot in Bethlehem where Jesus was?"
2. There is so much that he could have told, so much that some in the audience could have confirmed.
a. He could have referred to the childhood and young manhood of Jesus as He lived in the city of Nazareth.
1) No doubt, Peter had talked to Christ about those first 30 years of His life.
b. He, no doubt, could have discussed this with some in the audience that knew Jesus in His childhood and young manhood.
c. We have no real way of knowing what all the Holy Spirit led Peter into proclaiming on that Day of Pentecost some 2000 years ago.
d. But we are telling of some of the things that we now know, that he could have at that time possibly mentioned.
II. PETER COULD HAVE PREACHED CONCERNING THE MINISTRY OF JESUS WHILE HE WAS UPON THIS EARTH.
A. Jesus began His ministry by going to the Jordan and being baptized at the hands of John, Matt. 3:13-17.
1. But, not only was Jesus baptized of John in Jordan, the scriptures tell us: "Then went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about the Jordan; and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan" Matt. 3:5,6.
a. So, Peter could have well asked those Jews on Pentecost: "Were any of you there that day?"
B. Jesus taught a multitude on a mountain side one day, and when He finished
1. "The multitudes were astonished at his teaching: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes." Matt. 7:28,29.
a. So, Peter could have asked: "Were any of you there that day? Did any of you hear His sermon?"
C. In His home town of Nazareth, Jesus was almost killed by an angry mob after He had done some reading of the scriptures in their synagogue. Lk. 4:16-30.
1. Peter could have asked: "Were any of you in Nazareth on that day?"
D. Thousands heard Jesus teach and they followed Him. Matt. 14,15.
1. Peter could have asked the rulers of the Jews:
a. "How many of you were here in the temple when Jesus turned over the tables of the money-changers and drove them out?" Jno. 2:13-17.
III. PETER COULD HAVE PREACHED ABOUT THE MIRACLES THAT JESUS PERFORMED WHILE HE WAS ON EARTH.
A. He turned water into wine at Cana of Galilee, Jno. 2:1-11.
B. He healed great numbers of people as word of His power spread. Mk. 1: 32-34.
C. He healed the lepers, Mk. 1:40-42, the blind, Jno. 9, and the paralyzed, Mk. 2:1-12.
D. When he calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee, even His disciples exclaimed: Matt. 8:23-27.
1. "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the seas obey Him?"
E. His miracles were well known, and well documented among all the Jews.
1. So, Peter could have asked on Pentecost, "How many of you actually saw some of the miracles Jesus did?"
a. I suppose that the number of hands would have been in the thousands.
F. At the city of Nain in Galilee, Jesus stopped a funeral procession and raised to life the young man who had died. Lk. 7:11-15.
1. He also raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead. Lk. 8:40-56.
G. And, four days after His good friend, Lazarus of Bethany, had died, Jesus called to him:
1. "Lazarus, come forth." And Lazarus came forth alive, from the tomb and was seen by and talked and ate with many who knew him, Jno. 11:39-44 12:1,2.
a. Peter could have asked: "Is Lazarus here among us today?" "Are there any of his friends, are relatives, that were there on that day, here today?" "Mary, Martha, are you here?"
b. Yes, Peter could have asked for, and no doubt could have received, many witnesses and testimonies concerning the miracles of Jesus.
1) He could have called on Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night and said:
a) "Master, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that thou doest, except God be with him", Jno. 3:2.
2) Remember, that Peter did say on that occasion: "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know..." Acts 2;22.
IV. PETER COULD HAVE PREACHED CONCERNING THE EVENTS OF THE FINAL WEEK THAT JESUS WAS UPON THE EARTH BEFORE HIS CRUCIFIXION.
A. The prophet foretold the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem,Zech. 9:9, just as it happened, Jno. 12:12-19.
B. Zechariah also foretold his betrayal by a close friend that would lead to the "wounds in thine hands", Zech. 13:6.
C. And again, Zechariah said, "They weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord," Zech. 11:12, 13.
1. Peter could have asked: "Judas brought back the thirty pieces of silver, how many of you priests were there and saw it?"
D. Whenever Jesus was on trial before the Jewish council, He refused to answer the charges made against Him.
1.Isaiah said that this is what would happen:
a. "As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." Isa. 53:7.
1) Peter could have pointed at the members of the council and asked: "Isn't that the truth?"
2) There would really be no need to remind the crowd of what happened before Pilate, or the sentence that was passed upon Jesus.
a) No doubt, the whole city had been talking about that.
V. PETER COULD HAVE PREACHED CONCERNING THE SCENE ON THE HILL OF CALVARY.
A. He could have asked immediately: "How many of you were at Calvary that day?"
B. Peter could have reminded them of the 3 hours of darkness in the afternoon, as Jesus was dying upon the cross, Matt. 27:45.
C. He could have reminded them of the earthquake, the tearing of the veil of the temple, the graves opening and the dead in them coming forth alive, matt. 27:51-53.
1. He could have asked: "Were any of your relatives among those who came forth?" "Did you see and recognize any of those who you knew were dead but now are walking in the city again?" "Are any of you that were raised that day here today?"
D. Peter could have reminded the crowd of the prophecy of Isaiah, 53:1-12.
1. Surely, with the events of that final week still so fresh in their memories, prophecies such as this would have been most convincing.
VI. PETER COULD HAVE PREACHED LOUD AND LONG ON THE BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS.
A. After the death of Jesus, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea came and took the body for burial. Jno. 19;38-42.
1. Peter could have asked: "Is Nicodemus or Joseph here?"
2. "What of the guards that stood over the tomb?"
B. In spite of their precautions, the body of Jesus was gone!
1. The tomb was empty and the graveclothes, neatly folded, were left by themselves.
a. So, with great boldness, Peter said: "This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses", Acts 2:32.
C. Peter could have called on more than 500 people who had seen Jesus after He was raised. 1 Cor. 15:6.
1. And who knows, maybe he did! As he spoke to the crowd "with many other words" on that day. Acts 2:40.
1. When the great crowd came together on the day of Pentecost, they were amazed because the apostles were able to speak in many different languages!
A. And these were languages known to the hearers, but unlearned by these Galilean apostles.
2.And they heard and saw the boldness of these men!
A. Men, who just recently, "followed afar off", but now had the courage to say:
1) "God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified", Acts 2:36.
3. What an impression this must have made on the Jews of that day.
A. Some of them were convinced by Peter's preaching and asked; "what shall we do?" Acts 2:37.
1) Upon asking this question, we have Peter's answer given in, Acts 2:38- 41.
4. So, when we consider the things the apostles could have preached, we are made to wonder why ONLY 3000 were baptized!!
5. We might ask, how could any in the audience on that day reject the evidence that was presented concerning Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
A. But, when we stop and think about it, that same evidence is presented to us today.
1) Note what is said in, Jno. 20:30,31; Mk. 16:20.
6. We truly have the "many other words" here today.
By Jim Sasser
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