The portion of Joel 2:28 recited in Acts 2:17 prepared the disciples for the spiritual empowerment of prophecy, visions, and dreams they and others would experience. We can find an example of prophecy (“propheteuo,” Thayer G4395) in Acts 21:9 where the “four unmarried daughters…had the gift of prophecy.” We can also find examples of vision (“horasis,” Thayer G3706) in Acts. Peter experienced a vision to prepare him to take the Good News to the Gentiles (Acts 10:10-20). Paul had his vision of Christ, resulting in Paul’s salvation and future ministry (Acts 9:3-6). Just before Stephen died, he had the vision of Jesus at God’s right hand (Acts 7:55-56). Luke recorded what is sometimes called a dream (“enupnikon” (Thayer G1798) in Acts 16:9, “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.”’ From Luke’s handling of Acts 2:17, we can infer “divine-empowerment leadership” theory includes empathy and a broad leadership responsibility. Under the divine empowerment of Christian leadership theory, Spirit-empowered leaders are able to empathize with the follower, be sensitive to their fears and anxieties, and thereby provide clear and targeted communication for the benefit of the follower. Divine-empowerment is triadic—it involves God providing the power to empathize, the leader to do the empathizing and the recipient of the care as the third member of the triad.
A second message from this text is the overriding point of Joel’s prophesy, which is all people from all social classes, all ethnic groups, and both genders will have the Spirit available to them so they would be prepared to witness for Christ during the eschatological age (Witherington 140). Therefore, under the divine empowerment of Christian leadership theory, Spirit-empowered leaders understand their leadership responsibility as a regent for God to lead others to the ministry God intends for them. Divine-empowerment is triadic—it involves God providing the power to empathize and lead others, the leader to do the empathizing and leading, and the recipient of the care and leading as the third member of the triad.
|Joel 2: 29 Even on the male and female slaves,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
|Acts 2: 18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.