Acts 2:1-13; spring AD 30
God spoke in a “still, small voice” to Elijah (1 Kings 19:2), helping him to be assured that he wasn’t alone, that God was with him and intervening in events. On the Day of Pentecost, a millennium later and only days after Jesus returned to heaven, God made his presence felt again. Not with a ‘still, small voice’, but using the spectacular.
“a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them…” (v.2)
A spontaneous gift of tongues enabled the apostles to immediately (and we assume thereafter) speak in one or more human languages that they knew nothing of until that moment. And what do you suppose they started talking about in those foreign languages? “the wonders of God” (v.11). This fact tends to go unremarked but it’s worthy of note as there were so many other things they COULD have spoken about, including just practicing small talk, maybe comparing the state of their fishing nets. But they talked about what was on their mind, as we all do. The challenge in sharing the gospel, then, is not for us to force ourselves to talk about things that we never ponder, but that we should be thinking about the gospel so much that it’s naturally on the tip of our tongue.
Another promise had been fulfilled (John 14:15-17; Luke 24:47-49). The disciples obeyed Jesus by staying in Jerusalem after he went back to heaven, rather than fleeing towards their home in the north (which was the obvious thing to do when persecution started). Because of their obedience, they received Holy Spirit – the advocate and helper whom Jesus said his Father would send.
And when the promise was fulfilled, the first thing they did was go extremely public. God’s faithfulness and the Holy Spirit himself inspired their courage in immediately sharing the good news of Jesus with anyone and everyone who would listen.
God has fulfilled all his promises to you except the one that comes only after we die. He is always faithful and he has given you the presence of Holy Spirit if you are his. How does that inspire you to talk to those around you who do not know God?