I’m sure most of us have heard about the day of pentecost. Whether you know the full story or have only heard it mentioned in conversation, hopefully after this article, you’ll have have a deeper understanding of what took place on this day.
The day of Pentecost was the day God first poured out the Holy Spirit on man. But why the day of Pentecost? Pentecost was also called the Feast of Weeks which was observed early in the third month 50 days after the offering of the barley sheaf at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, or the Passover (Exodus 23:16-17). The word Pentecost is Greek for Pentekoste, “fiftieth.” i.e., “day” which was also the Feast of Weeks. God chose a day in which He knew all the Jews would be gathered together in Jerusalem to pour out the awaiting promise, the Holy Spirit. On this day, Jerusalem was filled with many people from the surrounding countryside and even from distant nations.
During the festival, the disciples met in the upper room to have a prayer meeting to elect a new disciple to replace Judas. They chose two men; Joseph called Barsabas, who’s sur name was Justus, and Matthias. The disciples began to pray over these two, asking for God’s will and confirmation and the lots fell on Matthias. After Matthias was added to the apostles, there was a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind and it filled the room they were in (Acts 1:13-2:2). The promise they were waiting for was finally here! They all began to speak in tongues, or in other words, another language they’ve never learned before as the Spirit moved through them and gave them utterance (Acts 2:4).
The sound wasn’t only noticed by the apostles as they were being filled with the spirit, but thousands of people in Jerusalem heard it also and were amazed when they heard the apostles which were Galilaeans, speaking their language. Imagine how you would respond if you knew someone who could only speak Spanish began to speak perfect English out of nowhere. This amazement is what the Jews experienced. But the language the Jews spoke was not the only language spoken through the apostles that day. Acts 2:9-11 says “Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Crates and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues, the wonderful works of God.” There were 17 different nations that heard the Galilaean apostless speak their own language. It was a true miracle of God.
Many were confused though and figured the men were drunk. But Peter stood up and explained to them what was happening. Peter told them, these men are not drunk, it’s only 9 in the morning. No this is a fulfilment of promise from the prophet Joel, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh: and your son’s and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” (Acts 2:17-18). Peter continued to preach this message, his first sermon, to over 3,000 people. The crowd asked him what shall we do then? And Peter responds with “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). Because of his boldness and his message, 3,000 people were added to the church that day and it has been growing ever since.