In the second part of the Peter’s first sermon in Acts 2 (Acts 2:22-41) he lists at least four reasons why Jesus is worthy of us following. I am sure there are other reasons hidden within this text, but these four jump out and make me want to follow Him more faithfully.
1 He has God’s Endorsement of Him.
God’s endorsement of Jesus had begun years ago in the Old Testament, during the birth of Jesus and at the baptism at the beginning of His ministry where God boomed, “This is my son whom I love”. Those in Jerusalem saw the endorsement of God in three main ways.
- His endorsement came through the Miracles he did. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made the lame to dance and the mute to speak. He turned water into wine, fed 5000 people with just a few loaves of bread and calmed the storms. It is quite likely that within this crowd there were some who had personally experienced and seen Jesus- miracle working powers. Not a lot of people can do that. This reminds me of the bumper sticker, “next time you think you are perfect, try walking on water”. He could do the miracles because the endorsement of God was upon him.
- His endorsement came through the wonders he did. The Greek word for wonders literally means, “to arouse astonishment”. People had looked at Hm and their breath was taken away. They had never seen anyone do the things that H could do. They were, perhaps as the hymn writer says, “lost in wonder, love and praise”.
- His endorsement came through the signs. This statement says that the miracles were just for fun and to wow us but that they embodied deep and profound spiritual truth. The signs told us something about God’s incredible and passionate love for humanity.
2 He Completed the Impossible Task (vs. 23)
This is a powerful statement because many of the people listening to Peter’s words had been in Jerusalem days earlier at Passover and may have seen or heard about the crucifixion of this “Great Teacher”. The cross is an unusual combination of God’s divine purposes and man’s utter sinfulness
And then came the most powerful words ever uttered in history, “But God” “But God released Him from the horrors of death and raised Him back to life”. The word “pains” means “Birth Pangs”, like a womb in labor. Sure, Jesus was experiencing the horror of death, but like a woman in intense labor, something beautiful and amazing was about to happen. Peter is suggesting that the tomb was a “womb” out of which Jesus was born in resurrection glory.
He defeated death and did the impossible. And H is the only one who ever has. No one has ever cheated death or legitimately claimed to. His references would say that God has done what billions and billions and billions of people throughout history have never done. He rose again. His references would rightly claim that He completed a task that has been previously impossible to everyone before and after him.
3 He has a Proven Track Record that Fulfilled Prophecy of History (vs25-31)
Peter explains that these verses obviously did not apply to David who was dead and buried... and they could see his tomb. But he wanted them to know that David, who had credibility all through Israel, had prophetically spoken of what Jesus was going to do years before. The Psalm is not used to prove the resurrection but rather the messianic status of Jesus.
Jesus’ ability to be the Lord of your life was predicted hundreds and hundreds and thousands of years earlier. All of the history of Israel points to His moment. Jesus was not a “flash in the pan” messiah but one who had been spoken of and yearned after for hundreds of year. Much of his credibility lies in the consistent prophecies about Him over hundreds of year.
4 He has High Level Leadership Experience (vs33)
He is “Exalted to the right hand of God”. Let’s be honest, there are no higher levels at which leadership can be offered than that! He sits at the place of honor, the place of power where He is able to dispense not just God’s richest blessings, but God himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit onto us.
Peter, one of those closest to Jesus, who had seen Him act in public and in private, concludes His message that this Jesus, who longs to be Lord of our life, is both “Lord and Christ” - The Lord who reigns and the Messiah who saves. There are many positions of leadership that are available in this world, and scripture makes a sound point that we will all have positions of responsibility as we “reign with Him”, but there is no position as lofty as “Lord and Christ”. Scripture tells us that one day every other leadership position and indeed every person will one day kneel and bow before the one who is Lord and Christ.
Jesus is worthy of your trust and obedience.