Pentecost has lots of names: Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest and the Latter Fruits. It was 7 weeks after Passover and was one of the big three feasts the Jews were to celebrate in Jerusalem. Pentecost was a joyous time of giving thanks to God for both the summer wheat harvest and the giving of the Law to Moses. This was the day God had chosen to unleash the Holy Spirit on His followers. You can hardly miss the connections.
Jesus has just been raised from the dead and ascended to heaven. His work has come to – pardon the pun – fruition and a time of thanksgiving is definitely appropriate. More over the sacrifice required by the Law has been fulfilled and the New Covenant is about to come rushing in big time. Happy, Happy, Happy is the order of the day.
The hundred and twenty Jesus people were all together sitting in this house – no one was missing – when suddenly a sound came from heaven like a mighty rushing wind. Then they saw – they all saw – these divided tongues that looked like fire and it 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. Everyone who believed was included – the disciples, the women, the other followers – everyone. They all heard, saw, were filled, spoke and were guided by the Holy Spirit. (There are no second class Christians, no special level of attainment required – when you’re in, you’re in.)
In the famous museum paintings you get the impression the J-people were hiding out in some safe private room when all this happened. But no – don’t think so – at this sound the multitude came together – there was a big-O noise and then there was a big- O crowd! It says there were a bunch of devout men from every nation and there is a long list of all the different ones just in case you missed it.
So, the Jesus people are talking in every language so all the people from every nation can understand them. Now this is my favorite part – we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God. This could have been a side show except that the speakers were not calling attention to themselves. They were making God famous. (That’s really a good test for me. I can know it is the Holy Spirit because the spotlight is on God and the words are all about Him.)
The crowd was amazed and perplexed – really? No doubt stunned, mystified, baffled, bewildered and stupefied! I Imagine the Jesus people themselves were pretty amazed too…in a really cool way.
The crowd was made up of devout men. They all heard the Jesus people talking about the mighty works of God but there still ended up being a division. Just like all the way through the Gospel of John, it just happens when God is the subject – people are called to choose. (Maybe I think I am already “devout” but I still have to decide. “What does this mean?” What is God saying to me? What does He want me to be or to do? OR will I blow off the voice I know is God and make some excuse why it doesn’t apply?)
The mockers were kinda right – “They are filled with new wine.” Yes they were. Yes, indeed they were!
“God” is spoken in every language.
If that’s new Spirit wine, I’m having what they’re having!
About the World?
God is the Super in super natural.