37When the people heard this, they were very upset. They asked Peter and the other apostles, “Friends, what should we do?”
38Peter said to them, “Turn to God and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39This promise is for you and your children. It is for everyone our Lord God will choose, no matter where they live.”
40Peter told them many other things as well. Then he said, “I beg you to save yourselves from what will happen to all these evil people.” 41On that day about 3,000 believed his message and were baptized. 42They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together.
Life among the Lord's Followers
43Everyone was amazed by the many miracles and wonders that the apostles worked. 44 All the Lord's followers often met together, and they shared everything they had. 45They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever was in need. 46Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, 47while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.
The response to Peter’s message about the death and resurrection of Jesus was dramatic. “What shall we do?” asked his hearers. “Turn back to God,” Peter replied. “Your sins will be forgiven.”
With this story, Luke tells his audience that the long-awaited day has arrived. Jesus, the “friend of sinners,” has launched God’s rescue plan for all nations. Resurrection is proof. Our world would never be the same again. And the news was beginning to spread. Three thousand listeners believed Peter’s message of repentance and forgiveness and became followers of Jesus.
But that’s not all. People were beginning to change how they treated one another. Luke describes how the early Christians loved one another and became like family, sharing their food and their possessions. True repentance and conversion leaves its mark. Hostility yields to friendship. Your beliefs and behaviours change. You belong to God and feel a new sense of coming home. You are a member of a spiritual family that is both local and global, stretching back to Jesus, God’s son.
For some of us, becoming a Christian is a matter of having a private, spiritual experience. That is not the picture here. For Luke – as for Peter and Jesus – the good news is public truth. Anyone can investigate it. Is Jesus the world’s true Lord? Watch and see what happens. Sin and death no longer have the final word. This promise is “for you and your children” and for everyone who acknowledges they need a relationship with the God who loves them.
Can you feel the momentum building as you read Luke’s story of Christianity’s early days? It is the momentum of mission that comes straight from the heart of God. This is the God who comes to seek and save the least, last, and lost – everyone.
O loving God, you filled your followers with faith to do wonders in your name and to love one another as you loved them. Fill me today with your Spirit, that I may bring Jesus to a world in pain that needs you and your promises.