Three Months With The Spirit (Acts 2:14-21)

May 10th, 2014


Acts 2:14-21


Peter's speech was a response to the mocking attitude of some. Although we generally imagine that they were laughing or scoffing at the disciples, the text does not necessarily say that. It rather seems to say that they were mocking the full event, the dis­ciples as well as those who heard them in amazement.

Peter began by quoting words of Joel referring to "the last days." In other words, Peter was claiming that the last days had begun with the gift of the Holy Spirit and that ever since, we have been living in those last days, even though centuries have gone by.

What characterizes those last days, according to the quotation from Joel and to Peter's speech, is the gift of the Holy Spirit that undermines the distinctions of power and hierarchy that might otherwise exist. Thus, both the sons and the daughters shall prophesy, the young shall see visions, the elderly shall dream dreams, and even the slaves, both men and women, will receive the same power of the Spirit.


The society into which the church was born was much divided by inequality. Fathers had absolute authority over their children, even when the latter were fully grown. The elderly had authority over the young, men over women, masters over slaves, priests over the rest of the people. The gift of the Spirit, as inter­preted by Peter on the basis of the words of Joel, questions all such hierarchies. Now the sons and daughters prophesy, and even the slaves have the same gift of the Spirit as anyone else.

In our society there are still inequalities. Sadly, sometimes we find in our own churches inequalities that we have learned or have copied from the surrounding society or even from the soci­ety of the first century.


Questions for reflection:

  • What relationship do you see between the gift of the Holy Spirit and the power to create a community that overcomes inequality?
  • Is there any relationship between being such a com­munity and having the power to testify?
  • Share your reflections with others.

excerpt from: Three Months With The Spirit by Justo L. González Copyright©2003 by Abingdon Press. Used with permission.

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