When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and restedOr And tongues as of fire appeared to them, distributed among them, and rested on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
It wasn’t even a complete sentence. Just a phrase, it would have been easy to miss. Who could blame them? In the last two months, they had shown up in Jerusalem at festival time, and the whole city turned out to meet them. But palm branches and the adoring shouts of Hosanna had given way to venomous cries for crucifixion. And in a kangaroo court in the middle of the night, their master had been condemned by his own people. Rome reluctantly complied. Keeping the peace was well worth the trouble of an afternoon execution of one innocent man.
Then for forty days, He kept showing up—alive! They had heard it from the women first, then seen it with their own eyes. Jesus had been raised from the dead. And He did what He had been doing from the beginning. He met with them, and He taught them about the Kingdom of God. Now it was time for Him to go.
That’s when He said it. Wedged between the commandment to stay put and the prophesy of their future witness, Jesus told them, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”
And they were waiting. Together. Then suddenly, the Holy Spirit rushed in. The power had come, and it was impossible to ignore. Luke tells us of the Spirit’s arrival in a few short sentences packed with truth for all of those who believe in the Lord Jesus.
Holy Spirit power was received by the believers. They didn’t engender it in themselves or think up something new. It was a gift of grace from God Almighty.
Holy Spirit power was undeniably demonstrated. The power was audible and visible. This was not a moment of God’s “still small voice,” but a moment of God’s creative and resurrecting power making dead souls alive!
Holy Spirit power was observed. People from all over the world saw the change. The believers were different. They were empowered to continue the mission of Christ. They had become the church. The power of Pentecost had been poured out.
Dear friends, the same thing happens to us when our souls are made alive by Jesus. We receive His Spirit in us, by grace alone. And it changes us. That change is demonstrated in ways that can be seen and heard. And a watching world notices. The Spirit of God in us is observed by a world that desperately needs to see Jesus.
“Let all the house of Israel know for certain the God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified”(Acts 2:36).