Acts 2When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
Jesus re-commissions his followers to go into all the world, to scatters as representatives of him and of the Good News of the Gospel, preaching, teaching, healing, reconciling, restoring and bearing witness to God.
The only caveat; they are to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit who will come and empower them in this mission. They are to wait for Pentecost.
Pentecost people speak in other languages, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost people speak in a spiritual languages, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost people speak another language, they tell a different story, empowered by the Spirit Peter stands and preaches boldly. Telling them the true story of Jesus Christ.
Ultimately this passage in Acts 2 is the counter passage to Genesis 11, the Pentecost reverses Babel. There is a big turn around and history is set in a new trajectory. Look how Acts 2 wraps up...42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The community created out of Pentecost is the reversal of the self serving empire of Babel with all its resource and energy directed at monument building, at tower building. This community in Pentecost does not exploit or oppress. This community holds things in common and puts resource, energy, and consideration into the providing for and caring for one another. It’s a community inclusive of all. It is not human-made; it is animated by the Spirit of God and encounter with the resurrected Jesus. It seeks to tell the truth of a new Way, out of self serving empire (national or personal) and into God’s Kingdom. It certainly doesn’t set out to build towers for its own pride and glory. It doesn’t represent God through buildings or towers or monuments but through love for one another. Remember... that’s how the world will know you are my disciples (John 13:35).
To be continued...