Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd…
Would you please notice two things from these 14 words? First, please notice that Peter of all people, stood to speak. Think about Peter for a second, what has happened to Peter in these last six weeks? On the night the Lord Jesus was arrested, Jesus told His disciples that they would all fall away on account of Him, and Peter says, “No Lord, even if all fall away on account of You, I never will!” And then as Jesus was led away to Caiaphas’ courtyard, Peter cowered before a little girl and denied Christ three times. Peter then watched as they crucified Jesus, and buried Him. Three days later, the women come and tell Peter that the body isn’t in the tomb. Peter and John probably think the women are crazy, but they start running to the tomb and when Peter enters it, and he sees that the body isn’t there, he’s gotta be thinking, “What in the world is going on here?”
Later, after Jesus’ Resurrection, Jesus came and asked Peter three times if Peter truly loved Jesus, and Peter said, “Yes, Lord you know all things, you know that I love you.” So Jesus re-instated him as an Apostle. So here’s Peter, now preaching on the day of Pentecost! What’s the difference?
The difference is over these past six weeks, the Lord has emptied Peter of himself, his pride, and his strength, and filled him with the Holy Spirit, and now Peter is empowered to stand in front of all these people and proclaim the Gospel message! My firm belief is that the Lord is still doing this type of thing in our lives. The Lord is still emptying us of our pride, our strength, our very-self, so that He can fill us with His life through His Spirit and transform us, just as He did Peter, to bring Him honor and glory as we bear witness of Him in our communities.
Second, notice there’s another whole thought here about restoration, when a brother or sister falls from grace. Peter has repented, the Lord has forgiven, and the Believers, their responsibility now is to come alongside encourage, pray and support him. It would have been so easy for the disciples to say, “I’m not going to trust Peter again. He blew it. I can’t support him anymore. He can’t be in the ministry anymore…how can he even call himself a Christian?” But that’s not what the disciples did, they stood with Peter, and they supported and encouraged him. Woe to the Body of Christ, woe to us, if when a brother or sister falls, we offer judgment, and condemnation instead of grace and encouragement.