By Brooke Holt
“ But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: . . . ‘Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through h im in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.’” Acts 2:14a, 22-24)
What a day It was for Peter and for all with him as they gathered on Pentecost, a Jewish festival day that had been honored throughout generations. Yet, today’s Pentecost day was unlike any of the others, because Jesus had spoken of this one to his disciples: “And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4-5).
Peter spoke these words from Acts 2 to the crowd that day where many people were present to witness the believers being filled with the Holy Spirit and proclaiming the mighty works of God in different languages. Everyone in the crowd could hear and understand the words in his or her native tongue. Such an unusual sight and sound indeed, one people could not understand or explain. Since they could not comprehend what was happening, they dismissed God’s work and accused the believers of being drunk.
Peter spoke to these scoffers who dismissed both the miracle of Pentecost and the miraculous works of Jesus. In their rejection of Jesus, they acted in accordance with the plan of the Father. Jesus, crucified by sinful men, was then raised from the dead, breaking the bonds of death by demonstrating God’s power over it. They acted in ignorance in rejecting and crucifying Jesus. With this great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, would they act in such ignorance once again?
The church grew mightily that day and continues to grow today. Scoffers and those who reject Jesus and the Kingdom of God still remain. And just as on that day of Pentecost, nothing exists in heaven or on earth that can hinder the work of God!
Like the people who witnessed Pentecost, you are responsible for how you respond to the revelation of the Lord. Will you receive the Holy Spirit, surrender to his power and guidance, and build the kingdom of God? Or will you join the scoffers and reject what you cannot understand or explain? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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