When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The Crowd’s Response
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs–we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”
Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
As promised, the Holy Spirit came and descended on the disciples, filling them. There are interesting points to note here:
- The disciples were all with one accord and in one place. This means they were of like mind; there was unity. This was a far cry from the men who used to argue about who was the greatest.
- Jesus said that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit fell on them like tongues of fire. John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”
- The Spirit gave them the power to speak in different languages. This was exactly what Jesus had said would happen. He said that the Holy Spirit would gave them power to speak to the people about the wonderful works of God
- The people heard and understood what the disciples were saying. It wasn’t gibberish.
- There are always sceptics even in the face of God’s miraculous power. They blasphemed the Holy Spirit by attributing His work to intoxication.
We need to be of one mind and one purpose in order for the work of the Holy Spirit to succeed and for us who represent the body of Christ to be effective in our service to God and witnessing to others. All the parts of the body have to function in order for the body to work properly. So it is with our spiritual condition. We must be spiritually ready to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed for unity among His followers. It was only after the disciples were of one accord that the Holy Spirit came upon them. We need to be of one accord. We need to be united in Christ—one with each other, as He was one with the Father.
The Spirit gives us the power to do the incredible and the impossible. He gives us the power to witness to others. Jesus told the disciples not to worry about what to say. He assured them that the Holy Spirit would give them the words. Today we too can have that assurance. The Holy Spirit impresses us to say the very word or words that someone needed to hear.
The people heard and understood what the disciples were saying. God speaks to each of us in a language we can understand because He desires that we know the things that He wants to reveal to us. He lamented, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” The Holy Spirit was sent to guide us into all truth. He does not speak on His own, He only speaks what He hears and will tell us what is yet to come.” It is God’s desire that we hear His word and in turn share it with others just as the disciples did. Today, He uses us to speak in a language that other people can understand.
There will always be critics and sceptics when we do the work God calls us to do. During His ministry, Jesus encountered sceptics all the time. They even accused Him of working for the devil. We should not allow these people to discourage us. We must boldly do the work of God with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1-13; Luke 3:16; Hosea 4:6; John 16:13