Unexpected Gift (Acts 1-2)

Great Expectations, Episode 3

Jesus' great expectation is that we use our unexpected gift to make disciples.


Intro: Independence Day Video Clip  

Independence Day delivers the ultimate encounter when mysterious and powerful aliens launch an all-out invasion against the human race. The spectacle begins when massive spaceships appear in Earth's skies. But wonder turns to terror as the ships blast destructive beams of fire down on cities all over the planet. Now the world's only hope lies with a determined band of survivors, uniting for one last strike against the invaders - before it's the end of all mankind.

Big Idea: An Unexpected Holiday Gift

Acts 1:1-11 The King’s Promised Gift

Context 1:1-4: After chronicling the acts of Jesus -- the prophecy, promise, birth, genealogy, and King promise to the ministry, death, resurrection, and appearances of Jesus with the Apostles, Luke now relates the history of the Acts of the Holy Spirit thru Jesus’ disciples.

Jesus is resurrected, back from the dead, and post His resurrection spends 40 days with the disciples telling them to stay in Jerusalem for the promise or unexpected gift from the Father is coming – a complete immersion into the 3rd part of the Godhead – the Holy Spirit!

  1. The disciples have one quick question (5), “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?” The promise of Isaiah 59-61?  The completion and fulfillment of your promise to David in 1 Chronicles 17 and the reason we all celebrated when you rode in on that donkey?  Our Great Expectation of the The Head Crushing King?

  2. Jesus’ Answer:

    1. Not for you to know the time, it’s up to the Father who has already fixed that date.  God the Father already has that in His calendar and you do not get to look at it.

    2. BUT “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…”

    3. Why “and you will be my witnesses in Ocala, Marion County, Florida and to the world!”

  3. Jesus ascends back to Heaven and as “they are looking on” with continued gaze upward two messengers in white robes ask, “Why are you standing here? Jesus will return in the same way!”

Acts 2:1-4 The King’s Gift Arrives

After Luke chronicles the replacement of Judas with Matthias (1:12-26), he takes us 50 days after the Passover celebration to the JEWISH holiday of Pentecost – the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai.

  1. God shows up in Exodus, the very same event they are celebrating with thunder, lighting, and trumpet blasts causing all the people to tremble at Mt. Sinai wrapped in smoke “because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly (Ex. 19:18).

  2. So in the same fashion God the Holy Spirit shows up to this Historic celebration, Pentecost, the giving of the Law with the “sound of a mighty rushing wind filling the entire house where they were sitting” with “divided tongues of fire appearing and resting on each of them” SO they could be filled with the Holy Spirit!

Acts 2:5-13 The King’s Gift Unwrapped

  1. For this national Jewish holiday celebration has people come into town from all over the world as there are “devout men from every nation under heaven” (2:5) there.

  2. These diverse language speaking holiday celebrants then hear the disciples speaking to them in the native languages.  Look at how divergent these languages are.  Luke covers the known globe for us this could read: Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Japanese, and Punjabi.

  3. All of these languages understood.  Each recipient hearing in their own tongue the mighty works of God (2:11).

  4. Obvious Question (12) “What does this mean?”

Acts 2:14-21 The King’s Gift Explained

Peter stands up with the 11 and answers the question, “What does this mean?”  “Why can we understand them declaring God’s mighty works?’ “What is going on?!”  Notice that Peter seizes the opportunity to answer.  The recipients of the gift go from asking Jesus; “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel” to now we get it!  Jesus was right! The Gift is here.  Matter of fact Joel prophesied about this.  I’ll take this gift and use it and then seize the opportunity to declare Jesus to this multicultural group of people from all over the known world.  Hey this gift is not about me, but it is for this crowd!

Quoting Joel 2:28-32

  1. What is happening is what God promised – Holy Spirit pouring out on ALL people

    1. Gifting everyone who follows Jesus; every single person of any age, any gender; every single person who turns from leading their life to following Jesus receives an unexpected gift – regardless of job, social standing, public perception, income, or role in society

  2. What will happen is what God promised – judgment before grace. Our physical world, land, sun, & moon will also participate, as you are now, in God’s still to come work

    1. The unexpected gift of grace comes before the judgment of the world

    2. The sun and the moon will be changed, “before the Day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day” (20)

    3. SO → in light of the gift, in light of what you have just experienced in your own tongue call upon the name, reputation, glory of the Lord and be saved or rescued from sin right now.

Acts 2:22-36 The King Explained

One never shy of declaring his mind, Peter goes from explaining the current work of the Holy Spirit through the gifts to explaining the work of Jesus just a few months prior.

  1. What the Jewish audience had to have experienced during the Passover some 50 days prior was the big news of Jesus of Nazareth being executed with a sign above His head “King of the Jews.”  The very same man whose reputation and abilities garnered the attention of 1,000s -His mighty works, wondrous deeds, and power signs. But that was all according to God the Father’s plan.

  2. God’s long story from Genesis to Revelation is all about taking horror stories and making them into redemptive love stories.  Jesus’ execution under a faulty trial resulted in victory over death as God raised Him from the dead just as David prophesied in Psalm 16:8-11 to fulfill the great expectation as the Head Crushing King promised to David in 1 Chronicles 17:3-15.  

  3. That day, people of various ethnic backgrounds heard in their native tongues, their very own language, and able to fully comprehend Peter – a man joined by 11 others who were eye witnesses to Jesus’ love story.

Move to verse Acts 2:36, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ….”  

Two great expectations, the promise to Eve that one of her offspring would crush Satan’s head in Genesis 3:15 and the promise to David that one of his offspring would sit on an eternal throne ruling the literal nation of Israel collides succinctly in Acts 2:36.  Jesus is both ruling Lord and risen Christ.

Acts 2:37-41 King’s Gift Accepted

After watching and hearing the Holy Spirit descend like He did in Exodus 19, after hearing the use of the Holy Spirit’s gifts to explain Jesus the audience ask, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Peter Answers (2:38)

  1. Repent, turn around, stop on the path upon which you are on and begin following the risen King

  2. With Jesus ruling your life follow His commands and make a public declaration of the new found faith by being baptized. Show your neighbors, show your friends, and show everyone at the beach on Lake Weir.

  3. After accepting Jesus by faith, then you too shall receive this unexpected gift to in turn go and make disciples who make disciples in Ocala, Marion County, China, Spain, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Japan, India, and Russia!

Peter says that Jesus promised this to us too.  We listened to Jesus, choose to follow Jesus, and watched Him go back to Heaven.  He recently promised to us the unexpected gift of the Holy Spirit.  We now know that the very same promise is for you, your children, and those far from here.

So those who accepted, received, believed, and decided to accept the free gift were 3000. So those who accepted, received, believed, and decided to follow Jesus were baptized “and there were added that day about 3,000 souls” (41)

The great crescendo is answered in the 3,000.

The great question from the outset: “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel” is answered by not yet, but wait till the promise of the Holy Spirit lands on you all!

The unexpected gift of the Holy Spirit comes upon them akin to Exodus 19 as the massive crowd is celebrating Exodus 19.

The unexpected gift of speaking in foreign languages is not about the languages or uneducated fishermen all the sudden speaking Russian, but the Holy Spirit powerfully working to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to others.  The gift was about the disciples, but in the making of disciples.

Big Idea: Jesus’ Great Expectation is using our gift to make disciples