Provision for the VisitorsIt was the time of Pentecost when the Apostles were entirely under the Holy Spirit's influence and power. They were filled by the Holy Spirit: whatever they did was under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit influenced Apostles to the level where they started doing the unusual; they started speaking in other languages than their native tongue. The languages that the Apostles were able to speak were as the result of the work of the Holy Spirit. They were able to speak because the Holy Spirit was already working as an enabler. As the Apostles were speaking strange languages, the crowd that was present at that time had different people who the Bible describes as Jews, devout men. The term devout ("God fearing") was applied to men who were cautious about offending God; they were keeping commandments. The Jews at that time were scattered into almost all nations, but still they would obviously desire to be present as often as possible at the great feasts of the nation in Jerusalem. Many who came up to the Feast of the Passover would remain to the Feast of the Pentecost. This made the city of Jerusalem to have a lot of strangers during festivals.
From this portion of scripture, we learn that we need to be under the power of the Holy Spirit in order that we can do what God wants us to do in His mission. If we are on our own it is difficult to connect with God in what He is already doing. It is also important to know that in mission God sets the agenda and people need only to follow what is on the agenda. The Holy Spirit made the Apostles to begin speaking in different tongues because He knew that the audience had people who would understand such tongues.
Whatever audience that can be presented to us in the process of sharing the word of God, we must have it in mind that the Holy Spirit is already working and convicting the people. The convicted people will be able to respond because God is already working ahead of us. There are times where as the church we think mission can only be done by some people (e.g. ministers, Evangelists, elders), but it should be understood that whatever different gifts and talents God has given in the church are there for a purpose. As devout men were coming from all nations and they were able to identify the languages that were spoken by the Apostles, so the people from all walks of life who God has already touched are able to identify and respond to the word of God.
|All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. |
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs--we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" (Acts2:4-11)
Kennedy M'hone is a minister at Misisi Presbyterian Church in Lusaka, Zambia and is a husband to Sharon C. M'hone.