Jesus of Nazareth

Now the moment had arrived, the time for Peter to explain to the waiting crowd what the God of their fathers had done. It was something that Peter himself was still struggling to grasp. God had done all that the ancient prophets had foretold, but in a way that no one had imagined. And that fulfillment was summed up in three words: “Jesus of Nazareth”. ((Acts 2:22))

News traveled slowly in the ancient world, but there was little chance that those listening would not have known the name. The apostles reminded the crowd of the many miracles God had performed to confirm his selection of Jesus. ((Acts 2:22)) Even those who had only heard the criticisms from the Pharisees would know that strange signs had followed Jesus wherever he went. They also knew that, despite the many wonders he had performed, his split with the Temple had eventually led to his arrest, and no miracle had come to spare his life.

Peter himself could not forget that arrest either. He had been there, wanting to take a stand before the Sanhedrin and tell them that Jesus was a righteous man. ((Mark 14:13)) Instead, he hid in the courtyard and lied about who he was. ((Mark 14:66-72)) The blood of the Messiah hung heavy over all of them. Peter pulled no punches as he screamed into the temple, “You used sinners to carry out the dirty task of executing the one sent from God himself.” ((Acts 2:23))

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