Jon Brown

READ : Acts 2:14-36

For David says concerning him . . . (v. 25)

If you take the time to count the words given to us from Peter’s sermon, nearly 40 percent of them are actually recitations of the Bible. The prophet Joel is given the first voice, then the psalmist from Psalm 16 (who speaks twice), and finally Psalm 110 is quoted as well. Amidst the chaotic events unfolding at Pentecost, did Peter run into the temple and grab the right two or three scrolls from the Scripture library? Or was Peter or someone with him carrying Old Testament scrolls around all the time and either just happened to have the right ones or had all 39 of them—just in case? It is far more realistic to think that Peter actually had these portions of the Bible memorized. He had done with the Bible what the Bible asks us to do with it: “And these words . . . shall be on your heart” (Deut. 6:6), “On his law he meditates day and night . . .” (Ps. 1:2), or “Take and eat it” (Rev. 10:9).

The Bible requires a kind of engagement that looks more like eating than it does like reading. Eugene Peterson puts it like this in a book titled Eat This Book: “reading that enters our souls as food enters our stomachs, spreads through our blood, and becomes holiness and love and wisdom” (p. 4).


Give us patience, dear Lord, to attend to your Word, and come, Holy Spirit, to awaken us to live accordingly. Amen.