Day 50: Acts 2:1-21
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Today’s scripture is the most exciting event to happen in the entire Bible. Bold statement isn’t it? Let me attempt to back it up.
Since the very beginning, God has longed to be with his people, to be close to his people. At first he lived in a tent (the tabernacle). Then for several hundred years he lived in a building (the temple). When that still did not establish the relationship he wanted with the people he became a man and walked among us. And yet that is still not the final goal.
All through the Old Testament, God longs for a day, he talks about a day, the people long for a day…this becomes known as the Day of the Lord. The prophet Joel describes the Day of Lord as a day when things will be better than they’ve ever been. People will be closer to God than they’ve ever been. And Joel says that on that Day, God will “pour out His Spirit on all people.” In today’s reading we see the fulfillment of that prophecy. God’s Spirit is poured out on all people and for the first time people have access to God directly! No need for a high priest, or a teacher, but direct access to God. This is why in his sermon Peter quotes Joel 2. He is declaring that the Day of the Lord has arrived. All the anticipation of scripture has been looking forward to this moment. This is why I believe that this is the greatest moment in the entire Bible.
How blessed are we to live after Pentecost? We live during the time when anyone can call on the name of the Lord and be saved. We live in a time when everyone has direct access to God’s Spirit.
Justin Lewis | Facilities Director/Young Adult Pastor