The disciples, now Apostles, were together in Jerusalem. They needed to select a replacement for Judas Iscariot, who betrayed the Lord and subsequently killed himself. The choice was between Barnabas and Mathias, both had been with Jesus. Mathias was chosen.
As they gathered, God’s Holy Spirit came to them, just as Jesus had promised. They heard a sound like a blowing wind that filled the entire house where they were meeting. Things that looked like tongues of fire came and rested on their shoulders. Each of them was filled with God’s Holy Spirit.
Suddenly they were all able to speak in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them. The Apostles would travel out of the city and share the good news.
Why it matters
The coming of the Holy Spirit opened a new chapter in the lives of believers, as God was now personally available to anyone who needed wisdom, guidance and comfort. Jesus promised a counselor and He made good on His promise.
The work of the Holy Spirit, through the Apostles, would cause exponential growth in the faith. When Jesus was crucified, His real followers were few, but through the Apostles, the whole world would hear the story, a story that is still being told today all around the globe, in hundreds of languages.
Through the guidance and encouragement of the Holy Spirit, men and women have been able to create a written language for people who never had their own words written before. People still hear the word in their own tongue.
“‘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. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
Why it matters to you
Because of the resurrection of Jesus, man’s relationship with God has been changed forever. It is now personal and intimate. Not a distant, angry, foreboding God, but our Father in heaven who loves us and wants the best for us.
The Holy Spirit, the counselor that Jesus promised, is a wonderful teacher. The Spirit brings illumination to things you may never have understood, or gives you ideas or thoughts that you otherwise would ignore.
The same Holy Spirit that Jesus called upon for help is available to all of us today.
The Apostles were badly shaken at the crucifixion, amazed at the resurrection and both saddened and troubled when Jesus ascended to Heaven. Still afraid of being arrested or killed, they were living out of the public eye, not doing what they were charged to do by Jesus before He left.
But Jesus had promised a counselor and that is what happened in that house to all of the Apostles on that day.
From then on, a new boldness would take over and they would begin to preach the Gospel to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. Peter spoke to a crowd of people, from many nations, people who spoke many different languages, but each hear in his own language.
Peter spoke, likely in Aramaic, but each person heard in his own tongue. It was like each person had their own, personal interpreter.
What you may not know
People marvel at the miracles of Jesus and they should because healing the sick and all that happened during His ministry was of supernatural power. However, Jesus, while here on earth, was fully man.
He gave up His divinity and power to live a human life, subject to all the limitations of the human condition. His power came from the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit that healed the sick and raised Lazarus from the dead.
Jesus was always obedient to the will of His Father and all that was accomplished was done in accordance with His Father’s will.
The Holy Spirit is widely misunderstood and there are some who believe that the Holy Spirit is not at work today. That is not true, because it is the work of the Holy Spirit to guide, inspire, educate, encourage and at times rebuke the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sometimes people say a singer or preacher is anointed. We talk of “God-given” abilities That is the work of the Holy Spirit.