It’s TIME! Well, not for Jesus to sit on the throne of Israel but for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell with man. For His presence to fill our lives!
All 120 of those who were gathered and had been praying in the upper room received this gift. It wasn’t reserved for just Jesus’ original twelve disciples. The lowliest to the greatest were FILLED with the Holy Spirit. They didn’t get a measure of His presence based on their ranking within the group or their predicted potential to spreading the gospel. They ALL received the full measure of God’s Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit used each of them too. HE gave them the words to say. He granted them the ability to speak fluently in languages they had not learned. But they had to open their mouths and let His words free. I imagine this was like fire in their bones. They HAD to speak. They couldn’t hold it in. Have you ever been in this state? I have felt His power burning for freedom in the words of the Holy Spirit but I have no idea what those words translated to. Only He knows! But they moved the hand of God!
Luke tells us that there was a sound and sight associated with the coming of the Holy Spirit. “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 of them” (verses 2-3). The only sounds I can envision for this are the sound of a tornado or freight train. The house must have shaken with the force of it. Then each person received a visual confirmation of the Holy Spirit’s presence. This is the only time these two signs would be given to signal the Holy Spirit’s arrival. The Holy Spirit filled and still fills many more people but His bursting onto the scene of earth in full power only happened once and it was what Jesus had told His disciples to wait for. There was no missing the fulfillment of this promise.
Luke tells us of all the people visiting and living in Jerusalem at this moment. He says they were “from every nation under Heaven” (verse 5) and that they were “devout men.” All these people had gathered for Passover and Pentecost. They were observing God’s laws concerning the Holy days. While they were going about their business on Pentecost morning they observed something out of the ordinary.
Luke doesn’t explicitly state how all these people heard Jesus’ followers speaking in their language. Nor does he tell us what sound they were alerting to. So I’m going to do a little personal extrapolation here. Feel free to disagree with me if you like.
The sound of the Holy Spirit bursting into the room and the appearance of “tongues like fire” were for Jesus’ followers. After this, they made their way out into the streets. They were near the temple and so went there proclaiming God’s mighty works in every language under Heaven by the power of the Holy Spirit. All those around heard God’s words being spoken in their own language and it grabbed their attention. One hundred and twenty witnesses to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were proclaiming it throughout the temple and in the streets. NO ONE could miss this sound!
I have a question I want to ponder here. The “devout men” heard the gospel proclaimed in their own language and marveled at it. What did the mockers hear? They thought the disciples were drunk with some new kind of wine. Did they not hear the gospel in their language? Did the Holy Spirit open the ears of those who were willing to receive so they could understand? Were the words coming from Jesus’ followers mouths the same or was each man actually speaking in different languages? Those who mocked, were their spiritual ears closed and only heard gibberish? That would explain the difference in the two groups to me. Those seeking God heard from Him. Those not seeking heard nothing praise worthy.
Holy Spirit You are AMAZING! Thank You for the times You moved on my behalf. Thank You for filling me with Your presence and power. Thank You for praying through me things that I couldn’t express on my own. Thank You for praying God’s perfect will. I know I don’t turn to You nearly enough. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s because I’m more familiar with Jesus’ stories or because I relate more to God as a Father. I know You wield the power to move mountains. I think I’m scared of making a mistake in how I address You. I want You as real in my life as Jesus is. But I don’t know how to get to that point. Please help me to grow in this area of my walk. I want ALL God has in store for me; every part of Him. I know I can trust You to be gentle as You bring me to where I’m supposed to be. THANK YOU for the times You stepped up in power when needed.