“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
The Pentecost celebration was a feast, or the feast of Weeks, 50 days after the Passover. In 50 days, Jesus’ followers had seen the betrayal, beating, and crucifixion of their friend, and teacher. They felt the terror of all they held to be true, seemingly crumble abruptly. And then soon after, they experienced the confusion, doubt, wonder, and then joy of Christ’s return from death. Jesus spoke with them, ate with them, encouraged and commissioned them during these 50 days. And when He finally left them to carry on what He had started, He gave them a heads up to what was about to happen, just like He did regarding His death, and His resurrection. And of course, just as in those times, they were taken completely unaware. But even with Jesus’ foretelling, how could they have been prepared for all that would take place as the Holy Spirit rushed into them and moved through them to usher in something completely new.
What we can understand about the Spirit from this passage is that:
- He transforms and emboldens people to share the gospel of Christ
- He points to the Father and the Son in a clear way that they can understand
- He will compel but not command us to respond and follow.
- How do you think there could be in the crowd both those who were amazed and those who thought these men were simply drunk?
- What are your thoughts about the Holy Spirit from today’s passage?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?