Chapter 2:1-11 (ESV) - 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 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.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
Question to consider: Why does the Holy Spirit come on Pentecost?
Pentecost was from the Greek “Pentēkostē” meaning“50th” and refers to the 50th day after the Passover. If Jesus rose on the 3rd day after Passover, and He met with the disciples for 40 days after that, it would mean that about a week passed between His ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples. During Pentecost, the Jews celebrate the “Feast of Weeks” by reading through the book of Ruth because this is harvest celebration, and the story of Ruth focuses on the harvest. This is interesting because the story of Ruth was a type and shadow of the Messiah who would be the Kinsman Redeemer of the world, those who had lost their inheritance with God through sin.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost. For one thing, it was a popular Jewish festival which would guarantee that there would be in Jerusalem a number of “devout men from every nation under heaven,” but it also would end up ushering in the first fruits of the church, a grand harvest of righteousness.
In our time in Genesis, we studied about a group of people after the flood who disobeyed God’s command "to go into all the earth" by establishing the city of Babel. In it they built a tower to the heavens, and as a result, God came down and demolished the tower and confused the people’s languages and forced them to obey His command by spreading them throughout the earth.
When you think about the fact that men were gathered from all over the world at Pentecost, and they were able to understand God’s word being preached by the disciples in their own languages, it would seem that the reign of Christ and the appearance of the Holy Spirit reversed God’s curse on the people. Ultimately, as the first fruits of the church, this scene is a type and shadow of the great multitude that will appear before God at the final judgment. There will come a time when every curse has been reversed and sin and death will be a thing of the past.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and giving us a preview of the great multitude of people from every tribe and nation who will worship You in Your kingdom. As ambassadors of that multitude, we ask that You help us to be Your light in the world. Come Lord Jesus! Amen.