Tuesday, 22 February 2022
And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, Acts 5:14
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).
The previous verse noted that “none of the rest dared join them.” The words are debatable, but they were seen to possibly be referring to joining the apostles during their open, public speaking. People would hear and quietly listen, but not openly attach themselves to the group while among the multitudes.
However, this verse now does note that growth did continue. As Luke records, “And believers.” This is referring to people who have heard the gospel that Christ died for their sins, that He was buried, and that He had risen again. They believed this, accepting the words as true. Thus, they are reckoned among believers. It is to people of this group, believers, that they “were increasingly added.”
The verb is imperfect, signifying an ongoing process. They were increasingly (kept on being) added. It shows a continued growth that means people were truly converted, and they had been saved according to the words of the Lord that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
The Lord’s work was finished, the people accepted Him as their Messiah, and they were saved. Thus, the next words, “to the Lord,” refer to Jesus. It is the Greek word kurios that can be used in a multitude of contexts to mean a variety of things. In this case, it speaks of Jesus who is the God/Man. He is the Master of the faith, and the One who saves those who come to Him.
Luke next records that this included “multitudes of both men and women.” Despite being a somewhat common word, the plural of the word “multitudes” is found only here. It reveals the great expansion in numbers that occurred, so much so that the exact numbers are no longer included as the narrative continues. Also, the inclusion of women is an expected thing for Luke to note. He was careful to include them in many narratives in his gospel account, and he continues with this in Acts.
Life application: The early church expanded quickly, and this is not an unexpected thing. The people of Israel had heard Jesus speak throughout His ministry. The things that He did were brought into conversations throughout the land. The connection between their sacrificial system and His fulfillment of the typology would be easy to make and simple to understand.
They had the culture, the Scriptures, and the personal connection to what the anticipated Messiah would come to do. As these things were the case, many believed. However, the word “many” was still just a small portion in relation to the whole society. And further, until the leaders accepted Him, it could not be considered a national turning of the heart.
To this day, there has been no such turning. While nations have arisen and received the gospel message, even to its highest authorities, Israel has languished under the curses of Deuteronomy 28 for their failure to recognize Christ for who He is.
Be sure to pray for Israel’s collective eyes to be opened, and be ready to evangelize any who come your way, Jew or Gentile. But be sure to present your words to Jews in a manner that includes the thought that Jesus isn’t some Gentile person who is followed by Gentile nations, but that He is the fulfillment of their own Scriptures and the true Messiah of Israel. Many have no idea that this is so.
Once they realize He is a Jew who shares in the same culture as they do, they can more easily break through the barriers that have been erected around them by their religious leaders for so very long.
Heavenly Father, help us to get the word out about Jesus! Help us to present Him in a way that is understandable and relevant to each person we talk to. May we be about this most important task. Thank You that You allow us to share this precious message of life and restoration. Amen.