Awaken the Wonder: wonders above and signs on the earth below
Luke stylistically adjusts Joel’s wording as a framework for his outline of Acts.
We previously noticed the editorial adjustments in Acts 2:17.
Joel 2:30, 31 Acts 2:19, 20
|I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth,||And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below,|
|Blood and fire and columns of smoke.||Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;|
|The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,||The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,|
|Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.||Before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day|
With this editorial adjustment Luke informs us of Joel’s Old Testament knowledge and the influence the scriptures had upon his prophecy.
There are two key Old Testament narratives including the wonders and signs terminology and experience.
- God delivering the nation Israel from Pharaoh and Egypt.
- Exodus 7:3
- Deuteronomy 4:34
- Deuteronomy 6:22
- Deuteronomy 7:19
- Deuteronomy 26:8
- Deuteronomy 29:3
- Deuteronomy 34:11
- Nehemiah 9:10
- Psalm 135:9
- Jeremiah 32:20
- Jeremiah 32:21
- God delivering Daniel from the world’s kingdoms.
- Daniel 4:2
- Daniel 4:3
- Daniel 6:27
Luke reveals what God had done on behalf of the nation Israel and the prophet Daniel He does for His New Testament prophetic community.
Acts is written around key visions and strategic wonders and signs.
Notice immediately after quoting Joel, Luke stresses wonders and signs in and through Jesus as “attestation (to affirm to be true and genuine).”
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—” Acts 2:22
Nine of sixteen uses of “signs and wonders” are in Acts. (Collocation – the joining of linguistic elements).
- Acts 2:43
- Acts 4:30
- Acts 5:12
- Acts 6:8
- Acts 7:36
- Acts 14:3
- Acts 15:12
Paul’s ministry as stated in Romans 15:18-21 beckons us to pursue similar ministry.
18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”