Unlikely Leaders


Thousands in Jerusalem Converted

Peter urged the guilt-stricken people to recognize that they had rejected Christ because the priests and rulers had deceived them, and that if they continued to look to these men they would never accept Christ. These powerful men were ambitious for earthly glory. They were not willing to come to Christ to receive light. ULe 18.1

The scriptures that Christ had explained to the disciples stood out in their minds with the luster of perfect truth. The veil was now removed, and they understood with perfect clarity the purpose of Christ’s mission and the nature of His kingdom. As they opened the plan of salvation to their hearers, many were convicted and convinced. Traditions and superstitions were swept away, and they accepted the teachings of the Savior. ULe 18.2

“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” In Jerusalem, the stronghold of Judaism, thousands of people openly declared their faith in Jesus as the Messiah. ULe 18.3

The disciples were astonished and overjoyed. They did not think of this as the result of their own efforts; they realized that they were building on the work of others. Christ had sown the seed of truth and watered it with His blood. The conversions on the Day of Pentecost were the harvest of His work. ULe 18.4

The apostles’ arguments alone would not have removed prejudice. But the Holy Spirit sent the words of the apostles to their targets like sharp arrows of the Almighty, convicting the people of their terrible guilt in rejecting the Lord of glory. ULe 18.5

The disciples were no longer ignorant and uncultured, a collection of independent, conflicting interests. They were of “one accord,” “of one heart and one soul.” They had become like their Master in mind and character, and others recognized that “they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 2:46; 4:32, 13.) The truths they could not understand while Christ was with them now became clear. No longer was it only a matter of faith with them that Christ was the Son of God. They knew that He truly was the Messiah, and they told their experience with a confidence that carried with it the conviction that God was with them. ULe 18.6

Brought into close fellowship with Christ, the disciples sat with Him “in heavenly places.” A love that was full, deep, and far-reaching drove them to go to the ends of the earth, filled with an intense longing to carry forward the work He had begun. The Spirit gave them power and spoke through them. The peace of Christ radiated from their faces. They had devoted their lives to Him, and their faces themselves witnessed to the surrender they had made. ULe 18.7