Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers…
I. THE INSTRUMENT BY WHICH IT WAS PRODUCED, namely, the preaching of St. Peter. The Holy Spirit was the Author, but He employed the preaching of the apostle. It is by the Word of God, and usually by the preaching of that Word, that the heart is awakened, enlightened, and impressed. See why Satan is such an enemy to the preaching of the gospel. He knows that it is the appointed instrument for overturning his kingdom. He would, therefore, gladly prevent preaching, but when he cannot do this he tries to keep men from hearing.
II. THE DESCRIPTION HERE GIVEN OF A SAVING CONVICTION OF SIN. They "were pricked in their hearts." The Word of God, in order to be of any real use, must reach the heart. It is not enough that it enlighten the understanding, or please the fancy, or warm the affections. Nor is merely reaching the heart sufficient. It must touch it. And what is the way in which it touches the heart? We read of some 'who were "cut to the heart." Their hearts were deeply affected; but instead of any saving conviction being wrought in them, they were only the more exasperatd and hardened against the truth. A prick in the heart, though a small wound, would be fatal.
III. THE WAY IN WHICH SUCH A CONVICTION WILL SHOW ITSELF; namely, in an application for relief. Take notice to whom they made this application: to those very persons through whose preaching the wound had been inflicted. Not that the preacher, by his own power, can heal the wound, any more than he could at first inflict it. The same Holy Spirit, which alone produces conviction, can alone administer consolation. But in both cases He works by means. Attend, then, to the preaching of the Word, and you will find it a life-giving Word, mighty to heal as well as to wound, the power of God unto salvation.
IV. THE HUMILITY PRODUCED BY A SAVING CONVICTION OF SIN. Such a conviction disposes men to use the remedy prescribed. "What shall we do?" indicates that they were not only in deep trouble as not knowing what course to take, but also that they were willing to follow any directions which the apostles might point out. To this question there is but one answer, that of Peter.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?