We easily identify with the people in Acts because Luke never allows us to forget their humanity. It's impossible to confuse Peter or Paul with fictional characters. No ancient novelist would ever have created men whose lives were characterized by such dramatic contradictions: the brash and blustering everyman who blossoms overnight into an elder statesman; a movement's most infamous persecutor who develops into its most prominent advocate. Luke has drawn two millennia's worth of readers into the overlapping apostolic 'adventures” of these two first-century Jewish men who, while so dissimilar, shared a common vision and served the same Messiah.
In a series of vignettes, or 'postcards,' some historical, some biographical, still others theological, Acts reveals the successes and defeats, the conquest and tragedies of the original band of Jesus' followers. In Acts we are able to share in the joy, the loss, the frustration, the passionate debate and the ultimate triumph of these pioneers of Christianity. These are ordinary people who, through the power and enablement of the Holy Spirit, accomplish extraordinary things in the name of their messiah. In less than one generation this initial cohort of Christians boldly 'turned the world upside down' (Acts 17:6)!
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