In Isolation Thoughts 2

Sunday 31st May 2020 Pentecost Sunday

Music: YouTube: They were gathered in an Upper Chamber

Bible Reading: Acts 2

The Day of Pentecost came…

The wait was on, they had followed the instruction given on the Mt of Olives just before He left them. Now in the Upper Room they were sitting, talking and wondering when and what would happen. They were meeting together to have safety in numbers, the Jewish authorities were still seen as dangerous, their lives could be at risk if they carried on talking about a Risen Jesus. This topic was dangerous in the community as spies could be reporting them. What was the future for them? Life? Death? Persecution? Who knows? So, they came together for the comfort of the Feast of Pentecost, the city of Jerusalem was packed, this could be protection for them, they might not be noticed in the crowds.

Then it happened!

A New Presence

A New Power

A New Plea

 

A New Presence

There was a sound like a storm wind came into the room, it came from heaven and seemed to fill the whole house. There was also an effect that could be seen. This is important because we cannot see a wind, you only see the effect, you can feel it, but the wind is not visible.

  • Tongues of fire rested on each of them
    • No-one was missed out
    • It appeared to come from a single source
    • It was God releasing the Holy Spirit on a waiting group of men and also to the world.
  • They were filled with the Spirit, a heavenly power had come upon them.
    • They would never be the same
    • Life would be totally different
    • They could now face all the fears that had driven them to hide in the Upper Room
  • The first change was these rough and ready men, several of whom had been fishermen, could speak in languages they had not learned. Credit for this was given to the Holy Spirit. It was another miracle, the first since Jesus had left them.

A New Power

No mention is made of the obvious, but it is clear that they had left the Upper Room and were now walking around with the crowd. It also suggests, in the text, that the sounds in the Upper Room had been heard outside, so a crowd gathered to find out what was going on. What caused the stir?

  • Amazement at hearing men talking in the language of the many visitors to the city
  • Questioning the background of the speakers, they are Galileans, a term of disdain.
  • How is this possible? There is a list of the various peoples who were visiting for the feast. They were converts to Judaism, hence their presence at the Feast.
  • Reaction was varied
    • Some realised they were talking about the wonders of God
    • Some were mystified and just couldn’t understand what was happening
    • The unknown brings a defensive reaction, some in the crowds made fun of them. Others claimed they were drunk and not in control of their senses.

What was needed was an explanation, who would give them the answer? Up steps Peter, the outspoken Disciple in the Gospels, the one who three times denied even knowing Jesus in the hours before the crucifixion, he nails his colours to the mast, he explains to the great crowd what is going on.

  • These men are not drunk, its early in the day, they haven’t had time to get drunk!
  • Next he recalls the Old Testament promise of Joel. God would out pour His Spirit in the coming days, that day has come.
  • Focus your attention on Jesus of Nazareth
    • He was/is endorsed by God
    • You know He did miracles, wonderful acts, powerful teaching and you saw the signs.
    • His crucifixion was in God’s plan, a deliberate act of giving you hope. Even so, it was at the hands of our nation, He was killed on the cross.
    • Even more amazing, He rose from the dead, free from its control. Death had no hold on Him, he was sinless!
    • Now more Old Testament- David, the great King promises His coming, His death and His resurrection. His presence will bring joy and life. All these quotes would have been well known to the people listening.
    • All this has come true in Jesus. he was the Messiah, he could not be left in the tomb, He had life and rose, we are witnesses to this fact, actually what is happening today comes as a result of His death and resurrection.
    • Today God has allowed the Spirit to come to all of us, as Christ is now ascended to heaven. Take note that God has made the man you crucified, exalted as Lord and Messiah

The crowd had been listening intently to what Peter had said and it caused a reaction, not of anger, not rejection or dismissed as a joke, the fun makers had been silenced, gone was the accusation of drunkenness, they wanted to know more.

A New Plea

Was it only a few weeks ago the plea from the mob was to crucify Him! Now they asked o very different question. ‘What shall we do?’ Peter, filled with power and determination gives them clear instructions,

  • Repent of your sins
  • Be baptised in the name of Jesus
  • Know that your sins have been forgiven
  • You will receive the Holy Spirit
  • It is an open invitation to all willing to call to God

Such was the power of the Holy Spirit in the preaching, that many responded to the call for repentance and accepted Jesus as Saviour. The record mention 3000 added to the Disciples that day. It was not a flash in the pan, but their changed lives were evidenced in a new way of life. They wanted to learn more about Jesus, they spent time in prayer and fellowship. They also obeyed the command of Jesus to remember Him by breaking bread. They were constantly gathered in the Temple worshipping God and their witness caused many more to come to faith in Christ.

Look over the steps that Peter used to point people to Jesus, they are the same steps that are needed today. Why don’t you follow them and find peace with God?

 

Closing Music. YouTube: ‘The Comforter has come’, First Assembly of God


Page last updated: 30th May 2020 8:23 PM
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