History and traditions assist us when interpreting the present. Take Acts chapter two for instance. The Holy Spirit is rushing down on Jesus’ followers and they are suddenly able to speak in foreign tongues. Even Peter becomes a seasoned preacher.
People want to know what’s going on. They don’t have a grid for these events, and some have already moved in to supply their own answer: these are drunken lunatics.
This is the crucial moment where Peter tosses in the essential piece of history that clicks all of the pieces together:
2:17 â€˜And in the last days it will be,â€™ God says, â€˜that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.
2:18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
Peter uses the scriptures as a lens through which he can interpret reality. He understands something of what God intends to do and therefore, when God’s revelation comes, he is not only ready to receive it, he accepts it and explains it correctly.