Sunday 19 May 2013

Bible Book:

"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability." (vv. 1-4)

Acts 2:1-21 Sunday 19 May 2013


Pentecost in the Jewish tradition was 50 daysafter the Passover Festival. Those 50 days began with a celebrationof God's greatest act of deliverance when Israel was brought insafety out of Egypt. They reached their climax when the Jewishcommunity called to mind the original phenomena of Sinai, the voiceof God announcing the law amidst the blazing fire (Exodus20). Here Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles,transposes the Jewish Passover of the great deliverance into theChristian Exodus - a deliverance from death and sin accomplished inthe Paschal Easter mystery of Christ's death and resurrection. So -in the same way - 50 days later, Luke transposes the blazing fireof Sinai and the giving of the Law into the living flames of thefirst Christian Pentecost and the descent of the Holy Spirit on thefirst Christian believers (verses 2-4).

The great themes of the Christian Pentecostare the good news of the gospel message, the gift of communicationand the offer of salvation to all. The Holy Spirit gave theApostles the power and ability to express themselves and the powerto be understood - the Spirit setting up a two-way process (verses4-6)!

The good news of the gospel is an account ofthe miracles and signs of Jesus of Nazareth and of God's totalinvolvement and victory in the crucifixion and resurrection. Lukelists representatives of the entire known world (verses 9-11) asbeing present to hear and to receive a gospel message brought tolife by the Spirit.

To Ponder

  • There are almost 7,000 languages spoken in the world today.Over 5,000 of these have some part of the Christian Scriptures intheir native tongue.
  • Over 1,200 language groups have the New Testament in theirheart language. Over 500 language groups have access to the wholeBible in the language they understand best.
  • If you had to condense the gospel message into a few sentencesfor translation into another language, what would you write?
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