Exalted, then, to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
I. RECEIVED OF THE FATHER. The throne of Christ is the right hand of the Father. "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other." The obedience of Christ rewarded. The highest manifestation of the Divine in the Man Christ Jesus. The only true view of infinite power is that which sees it on Christ's throne as the source of the Spirit of life. Man's power destroys, God's power creates and saves. The thrones of this world fall, because they are so unlike Christ's throne.
II. The HIGHEST SUMMIT which Jesus reached; to which he was exalted. He did not throw off humanity, but carried it with him. For the sake of it he endured the cross. The glory of the throne shines through the earthly scenes of his history. So we can see the summit of our blessedness beyond and through the steep sides of the earthly path. Exalted for us, Jesus shows us that there is a holy ambition which is not self-worship, but self-sacrifice. James and John were not reproved for desiring to sit beside Jesus, but for desiring it apart from Divine appointment - as mere personal favor.
III. THE GIFT ITSELF. "He hath shed forth this, which ye see and hear." Spiritual power is given that it may be manifested; not in the world's forms, not as ecclesiastics have claimed to exhibit it, but with Pentecostal grace - distinguished men, subduing and captivating messages. The poverty of the Church without this gift. The evidence of its presence in the spirit of loyalty to the King from whose throne it descends. Christ-like power is what we want. The individual appeal: "Ye see and hear." The gift is already bestowed. Why should any be without it? An appeal (as in ver. 36) to the Crucifixion. "Ye slew him; yet he offers you his grace. Ye said, 'We will not have this man to reign over us;' yet he holds out his scepter, and invites you to sit down with him on his throne." Is not this a love to put on the throne of our hearts? - R.
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted.
I. THE UNSPEAKABLE FELICITY INTO WHICH CHRIST'S HUMAN NATURE — for it is of Christ incarnate that this is said, and as the reward of His sufferings as a man — HAD NOW ENTERED; for "in Thy presence is fulness of joy," etc. (Psalm 16:11).
IV. THE JUDICIAL THRONE ON WHICH HE SITS (Romans 14:9, 10).
(D. Whitby, D. D.)
I. THAT IT HAD TAKEN PLACE IN FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY. Again the particular prediction is taken from David. It is a passage applied by Jesus to Himself, to the confusion of the Pharisees, whose silence was a confession of its Messianic character (Matthew 22:42-46). Its fulfilment was by the power of God. The hand is that part of the body by which man puts forth his strength, and the right hand is superior to the left; and God, condescending to human ways of speech, represents the exercise of His power as the work of His right hand. Creation was done by a word; but this concluding act of redemption demanded the putting forth of Jehovah's power.
II. THAT IT HAD TAKEN THE REDEEMER TO HIS HEAVENLY CONDITION. He was exalted, that He might "sit at the right hand of God" (cf. Matthew 26:64; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1). This condition is marked by —
1. A continuous quiet dominion.(1) He has dominion, being "at the right hand of the Majesty on high," and that dominion involves "all authority in heaven and in earth."(2) But He rules in quietness and rest. Having finished His great work, He "sits." Angels, being evermore on duty (Hebrews 1:14), stand about the throne. God says not to them, "Sit on My right hand."(3) This dominion will continue until its Mediatorship has answered its purpose.
2. Perfect happiness (Psalm 16:11). The great joy had been set before Him, and had sustained Him in sorrow. Let His consummate blessedness show as the good placed within the reach of man.
3. The subduing of His foes. The allusion is to the ancient custom of conquerors to set their feet upon the necks of the vanquished.Who are His foes?
1. The Jews, who were subdued when their nationality was destroyed.
2. The Romans, who were subdued when their empire was comprehended in Christendom.
3. The pagans, that still remain. These will be subdued when the gospel has been preached to all nations for a witness.
4. Men and women in Christendom who still reject Him. They also will see their folly and sin, and acknowledge Him either too soon or too late.
5. Sin and Satan, but these will be cast out.
6. Death. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
III. THAT IT WAS DECLARED TO HAVE TAKEN PLACE BY EVENTS NOW TRANSPIRING. "He hath shed forth this," etc. These events —
1. Showed that the Holy Spirit had been given. This Peter does not tire of repeating. Its importance demanded its repetition, and does so still. But Jesus had said that unless He went to the Father the Holy Spirit would not come. Therefore His manifest presence proved the ascension.
2. Were a fulfilment of the Father's promise. The promise made through the prophets had been repeated to Jesus, and by Him to the apostles; and He was now gone to receive what was promised. This was the simple, straightforward explanation of what was happening.
3. Were brought about by Jesus Himself. "He hath shed." During His ministry He had wrought unnumbered miracles, every one of which displayed Divine power, and He was but continuing what He had begun (Ephesians 4:8).
4. Were in themselves wonderful. "This which ye now see and hear." Explanation was not attempted. What was seen and heard was enough to work conviction.
IV. In the ascension Peter finds THE CONCLUDING-POINT OF HIS ARGUMENT — viz., that Jesus was Lord and Christ. Then they had crucified the Messiah. No wonder they were pricked in the heart. In conclusion, see here —
1. The means to be employed by preachers: the facts M history and experience, with interpretations from the Word of God.
2. The end to be aimed at by preachers — that personal conviction which prepares sinners to accept Christ.
(W. Arthur, M. A.)
He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hearI. THE PROMISES OF THE SPIRIT, UNDER PRECEDING DISPENSATIONS. As the prophecies of Christ served to identify the Messiah on His manifestation in the flesh, and prove His Divine mission, so these predictions of the coming and agency of the Holy Ghost in the ancient Scriptures of the Jewish people, conspire, with the facts afterwards to be noticed as the accomplishment of them, to show that it is a Divine energy from on high which is now amongst us of a truth.
II. THE COMMUNICATION OF THE HOLY GHOST FROM THE HANDS OF THE EXALTED REDEEMER.
1. The work of the Holy Ghost is essentially connected with the work of Christ. Of old the Spirit was given to foretell it, but His greater province was to attest and apply it.
2. This communication of the Spirit from the hands of the exalted Saviour makes distinctly manifest what is everywhere implied in Scripture — that the gift of the Holy Ghost is a purely gratuitous and gracious bestowment.
III. WHAT IS STATED TO BE THE NATURE OF THE WORK OF THE HOLY GHOST IN THE CHURCH. What were those manifestations thus dispensed from the hands of the Redeemer, of which we read in Scripture, and some of which are matters of observation or of consciousness still?
1. There were those supernatural endowments, called in Scripture "Spiritual gifts," which first proclaimed the presence of the Holy Ghost in the Church.
2. With this stands closely connected the inspiration of the apostles. The system of truth which the spiritual gifts were to attest was that of which they were the professed expositors; and it was in the train of their ministry that these manifestations appeared.
3. We have further to advert to that, to which all that we have been dwelling upon is but subservient, as means to the end — the manifestation of that new element of spiritual life which sprung up in connection with the exhibition of apostolic truth, and which is ascribed in Scripture to the application of that truth to the soul by the Holy Ghost. The first work of the Spirit, of which we have spoken, was chiefly for attestation; the second, for instruction; this third, for regeneration and salvation. And if the Spirit appears glorious in His gifts and diversities of miraculous working, and as the source of inspiration in the apostles. and prophets, much more is it so when we view Him as "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," and as establishing "a law" within the renewed soul, which makes it "free from the law of sin and death."
(E. T. Priest.)
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both LordI. THE APOSTLE APPLIES HIMSELF TO HIS AUDITORY IN A FAIR, GENTLE MANNER. We have a word amongst us in familiar use — "compliment"; and for the most part in an ill sense, for the heart of a speaker does not always answer his tongue. But God forbid but a true heart and a fair tongue might very well consist together. He aggravates his condemnation who gives me fair words and means ill; but he gives me a rich jewel in a choice cabinet, precious wine in a clean glass, who intends and expresses his good intentions well.
II. So the apostle is civil here; but his civility does not amount to flattery; and therefore, though he gives his audience their titles, HE PUTS HOME TO THEM THE CRUCIFYING OF CHRIST. How honourably soever they were descended, he lays that murder close to their consciences. It is one thing to sew pillows under the elbows of kings, as flatterers do, and another to pull the chair from under them, as seditious men do. When inferiors insult over their superiors, we tell them they are the Lord's anointed; and when such superiors insult over the Lord Himself, we must tell them, "Though you be the Lord's anointed, yet you crucify the anointed Lord"; for this was Peter's method, though his successor will not be bound by it.
III. When he hath carried the matter thus evenly between them, HE ANNOUNCES A MESSAGE. "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly." Need the house of Israel know anything? Need the honourable to be instructed? Yes, for this knowledge is such that the house of Israel is without a foundation if it be without it. Let no Church or man think that he hath done enough or known enough. The wisest must know more, though they be the house of Israel; and then, though you have crucified Christ, you may know it. St. Paul says, "If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory" (1 Corinthians 2:8); but he never says they are excluded from the knowledge. The wisest have ever something to learn; they must not presume. The sinfullest have God ever ready to teach them; they must not despair. Now the universality of this mercy God has extended very far, in that He proposes it even to our knowledge: "Let all know it." And therefore it is not enough for us to tell you except you believe all this you shall be damned, without we execute that commission before, "Go and preach"; and it is not enough for you to rest in imaginary faith and easiness of believing, except you know what, why, and how you believe. The implicit believer stands in an open field, and the enemy will ride over him easily; the understanding believer is a fenced town, and hath outworks to lose before the town be pressed — i.e., reasons to be answered before his faith be shaked. Let all men know — i.e., inform themselves and understand.
IV. THE PARTICULAR WHICH ALL WERE TO KNOW was that this same Jesus whom they crucified was exalted. Suppose an impossibility: if we could have been in paradise, and seen God make of a clod a body fit for an immortal soul — fit for God the Son to dwell in, and fit for a temple of the Holy Ghost, should we not have wondered more than at the production of all other creatures? It is more that this same crucified Jesus should be exalted to the right hand of the glorious God. Let, then, sinners pass through their several sins, and remember with wonder and confusion that the Jesus whom they have crucified is exalted above all. How far exalted? Three steps carry Him above St. Paul's third heaven.
1. God made Him so, not nature. The contract between the Father and Him that all He did should be done so — this is what hath exalted Him, and us in Him.
2. God made Him Christ — i.e., anointed Him above His fellows.
3. God made Him Lord. But what kind of Lord, if He had no subjects? God hath given Him these too (Romans 14:9).
(J. Donne, D. D.)
I. LORD OF MAN.
1. Ruling man's body, with its passions and inclinations.
2. Guiding man's mind, preserving the intellect from sophistry, the conscience from error, the heart from corruption.
II. LORD OF WOMAN.
1. Touching her tender heart with a deeper pathos for the sufferings of the world.
2. Making her man's helpmeet in all that is pure and ennobling.
3. Enabling her, with man, to deal with all that is evil in society and degrading in public sentiment.
III. LORD OF THE CHILD.
1. Alluring the young life along paths of obedience and self-denial and thoughtfulness.
2. Yet filling the lap with buttercups and daises, and merriment and laughter. "Suffer little children," etc.
IV. LORD OF THE HOME. Determining its —
5. Purposes, and binding parents, children, servants, into one holy fellowship.
V. LORD OF THE CHURCH. Giving —
1. Truth to feed the mind.
2. Grace to support the life.
3. Wisdom to guide the judgment.
4. Reverence to lift up the soul in worship.
5. Enthusiasm to inspire the work.
6. A peaceful spirit, binding all together by our golden chain of loving brotherhood.
VI. LORD OF THE STATE.
1. Decreeing justice to all.
2. Bringing law into harmony with Divine teaching.
3. Lifting up the poor and abasing the proud.
4. Rebuking the evil doers, and overturning all iniquity.
VII. LORD OF THE WORLD.
1. Driving back the darkness.
2. Destroying false religion and bringing in the true.
3. Making the world like heaven.Conclusion: That Lordship of Christ will not let us put on and put off religion with our Sunday clothes. It bids us take Christ with us, not merely to religious work, but so to take Him that all work should be religious. It calls upon Christians to be the subjects of Christ everywhere; to obey Christ in business, in the home, in politics, in reading, in talking, in laughing, in giving, in dying. There is a majesty about this name that men have not yet felt.
(S. Pearson, M. A.)
I. THE NAME JESUS IS THE NAME OF THE MAN, WHICH TELLS US OF A BROTHER.
1. There were many who bore it in His day. We find that one of the early Christians had it (Colossians 4:11). Through reverence on the part of Christians, and horror on the part of Jews, the name ceased to be a common one. But none of all the crowds who knew Him supposed that in His name there was any greater significance than in those of the "Simons," "Johns," and "Judahs" in the circle of His disciples.
2. The use of Jesus as the proper name of our Lord is very noticeable. In the Gospels, as a rule, it stands alone hundreds of times, whilst in combination with any other of the titles it is rare. "Jesus Christ" only occurs twice in Matthew, once in Mark, twice in John. But in the later books, the proportions are reversed. There you have hundreds of such combinations as "Jesus Christ," "Christ Jesus," "The Lord Jesus," "Christ the Lord," and not frequently the full solemn title, "The Lord Jesus Christ." But "Jesus" alone only occurs some thirty or forty times outside of the four evangelists; and in these the writer's intention is to put strong emphasis on the Manhood of our Lord.(1) We find phrases like this: Jesus died, the blood of Jesus, which emphasise His death as that of a man like ourselves, and bring us close to the reality of His human pains for us. "Christ died" makes the purpose and efficacy of His death more plain; but "Jesus died" shows us His death as the outcome of His human love. I know that a certain school dwells a great deal too much for reverence upon the mere physical aspect of Christ's sufferings. But the temptation with most of us is to dwell too little upon it, to think about it as a matter of speculation, a mysterious power, an official act of the Messiah, and to forget that He bore a human life, which naturally shrank from the agony of death.(2) When our Lord is set before us in His humanity as our example, this name is used — e.g., "Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith" — i.e., a mighty stimulus to Christian nobleness lies in the realisation of the true manhood of our Lord, as the type of all goodness, as having Himself lived by faith, and that in a perfect degree and manner. Do not take poor human creatures for your ideal. Black veins are in the purest marble, and flaws in the most lustrous diamonds; but to imitate Jesus is freedom, and to be like Him is perfection. Our code of morals is His life. The secret of all progress is, "Run, looking unto Jesus."(3) We have His manhood emphasised when His sympathy is to be commended to our hearts. "The great High Priest" is "Jesus"... "who was in all points tempted like as we are." To every sorrowing soul there comes the thought, "Every ill that flesh is heir to" He knows by experience, and in the man Jesus we find not only the pity of a God, but the sympathy of a Brother. The Prince of Wales once went for an afternoon into the slums, and everybody said deservedly, "right" and "princely." This Prince has "learned pity in the huts where poor men lie."(4) And then you read such words as these: "If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." How very much closer to our hearts that consolation comes, "Jesus rose again," than even the mighty word, "Christ is risen from the dead." The one tells us of the risen Redeemer, the other tells us of the risen Brother. And wherever we follow our dear ones into the darkness with yearning hearts, there, too, the consolation comes; they lie down beside their Brother, and with their Brother they shall rise again.(5) So again, most strikingly, in the words which paint most loftily the exaltation of the risen Saviour, it is the old human name that is used, as if to bind together the humiliation and the, exaltation, and proclaim that a Man had risen to the throne of the universe. What an emphasis and glow of hope there is in, "We see not yet all things put under Him, but we see Jesus" — the very Man that was here with us — "crowned with glory and honour." So in the Book of the Revelation, the chosen name for Him that sits amidst the glories of the heavens, and settles the destinies of the universe, and orders the course of history, is Jesus. As if the apostle would assure us that the face which looked down upon him from amidst the blaze of the glory was indeed the face that he knew long ago upon earth, and the breast that "was girded with a golden girdle" was the breast upon which he so often had leaned his happy head.
3. So the ties that bind us to the Man Jesus should be the human bonds that knit us one to another, transferred to Him, and purified and strengthened. All that we have failed to find in men we can find in Him.(1) Human wisdom has its limits; but here is a Man whose word is truth, who is Himself the truth.(2) Human love is sometimes hollow, often impotent; it looks down upon us, as a great thinker has said, like the Venus of Milo, that lovely statue, smiling in pity, but it has no arms. But here is a love that is mighty to help, and on which we can rely without disappointment or loss.(3) Human excellence is always limited and imperfect; but here is One whom we may imitate and be pure.
4. So let us do like that poor woman, bring the precious alabaster box of ointment — the love of these hearts of ours, which is the most precious thing we have to give. The box of ointment that we have so often squandered upon unworthy heads — let us come and pour it upon His, not unmingled with our tears, and anoint Him, our Beloved and our King.
II. THE NAME "CHRIST" IS THE NAME OF OFFICE, AND BRINGS TO US A REDEEMER. It is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew Messias, both meaning the Anointed. I cannot see less in the contents of the prophetic idea of the Messias than these points: Divine inspiration or anointing; a sufferer who is to redeem; the fulfiller of all the rapturous visions of psalmist and of prophet in the past. And so, when Peter stood up amongst that congregation and said, "The Man that died on the Cross, the Rabbi-peasant from half-heathen Galilee, is the Person whom all the generations have been looking forward to," no wonder that nobody believed him except those whose hearts were touched, for it is never possible for the common mind, at any epoch, to believe that the man that stands beside them is very much bigger than themselves. Great men have always to die, and get a halo of distance around them before their true stature can be seen. And now two remarks are all I can offer.
1. The hearty recognition of His Messiahship is the centre of all discipleship. The earliest and the simplest Christian creed, which yet — like the little brown roll in which the infant beech leaves lie folded up — contains in itself all the rest, was this: "Jesus is Christ." He who contents himself with "Jesus" and does not grasp "Christ," has cast away the most valuable and characteristic part of the Christianity which he professes. Surely the most simple inference is that a Christian is at least a man who recognises the Christship of Jesus. And it is not enough for the sustenance of your souls that men should admire, howsoever profoundly, the humanity of the Lord unless that humanity leads them on to see the office of the Messiah, to whom their whole hearts cleave. "Jesus is the Christ" is the minimum Christian creed.
2. The recognition of Jesus as Christ is essential to giving its full value to the facts of the manhood.(1) "Jesus died." Yes! What then? If that is simply a human death, like all the rest, I want to know what makes it a gospel? What more interest I have in it than I have in the death of any men or women whose names were in the obituary column of yesterday's newspaper? "Jesus died." That is the fact. What is wanted to turn the fact into a gospel? That I shall know who it was that died, and why He died. "I declare unto you the gospel which I preach," Paul says, "how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures." The belief that the death of Jesus was the death of the Christ is needful to make that death the means of my deliverance from the burden of sin. If it be only the death of Jesus, it is beautiful, pathetic, as many another martyr's has been; but if it be the death of Christ, then "my faith can lay her hand" on that great sacrifice, and know "her guilt was there."(2) So in regard of His perfect example. To only see His manhood would be as paralysing as spectacles of supreme excellence usually are. But when we can say, "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example," and so can deepen the thought of His Manhood into that of His Messiahship, and the conception of His work as example into that of His work as sacrifice, we can hope that His Divine power will dwell in us to mould our lives to the likeness of His human life of perfect obedience.(3) So in regard to His resurrection and ascension. If it were only "Jesus," those events might be as much to us as the raising of Lazarus, or the rapture of Elijah — namely, a demonstration that death did not destroy conscious being, and that a man could rise to heaven. But if "Christ is risen from the dead," He is "become the first-fruits of them that slept." If Jesus has gone up on high, it may show that manhood is not incapable of elevation to heaven, but it has no power to draw others up after it. But if Christ is gone up, He is gone to prepare a place for us, and His ascension is the assurance that He will lift us too to dwell with Him, and share His triumph over death and sin.
III. "THE LORD" IS THE NAME OF DIGNITY, AND BRINGS BEFORE US THE KING. There are three grades of dignity expressed by this word in the New Testament. The lowest is that in which it is almost the equivalent of "Sir"; the second is that in which it expresses dignity and authority; the third is that in which it is the equivalent of the Old Testament "Lord" as a Divine name; and all are applied to Christ. The central one is the meaning of the word here.
1. "Jesus is Lord" — i.e., the manhood is exalted to supreme dignity. It is the teaching of the New Testament, that our nature in the Child of Mary sits on the throne of the universe and rules over all things. Trust His dominion and rejoice in His rule, and bow before His authority.
2. Christ is Lord — i.e., His sovereign authority and dominion are built upon the fact of His being Redeemer and Sacrifice. His kingdom rests upon His suffering. "Wherefore God also hath exalted Him, and given Him a name that is above every name." It is because He bears a vesture dipped in blood, that on the vesture is the name written, "King of kings, and Lord of lords." Because He has given His life for the world, He is Master of the world.Conclusion: Do not content yourselves with a maimed Christ.
1. Do not tarry in the Manhood; do not be content with an adoring reverence for the nobility of His soul, the wisdom of His words, the beauty of His character, the tenderness of His compassion. All that will be of small help for your needs. There is more in His mission than that — even His death for you and for all men.
2. Take Him for your Christ, but do not lose the Person in the work, any more than you lose the work in the Person. And be not content with an intellectual recognition of Him, but bring Him the faith which cleaves to Him and His work as its only hope and peace, and the love which, because of His work as Christ, flows out to the beloved Person who has done it all.
3. Thus loving Jesus and trusting Christ, you will bring obedience to your Lord and homage to your King, and learn the sweetness and power of the name that is above every name — the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(A. Maclaren, D. D)
LinksActs 2:33 NIV
Acts 2:33 NLT
Acts 2:33 ESV
Acts 2:33 NASB
Acts 2:33 KJV
Acts 2:33 Bible Apps
Acts 2:33 Parallel
Acts 2:33 Biblia Paralela
Acts 2:33 Chinese Bible
Acts 2:33 French Bible
Acts 2:33 German Bible
Acts 2:33 Commentaries