The Spirit has arrived and the great noise draws a number of people to the house where the disciples are. “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”(Acts 2:5-6). Luke specifies that these Jews are “devout,” meaning that they are sincere and observant of God’s laws. In fact, many of them appear to have come to Jerusalem from far-flung places (see Acts 2:9-11) simply to observe the feast of Pentecost.
Yet the remarkable thing is that they hear the message in their own language. “And they were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?’”(Acts 2:7). Galilee is a backwater not known for foreign language study. Yet the audience insists “we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God”(Acts 2:11). Notice the use of the word “tongue” here (Acts 2:11, 4) as a synonym for a human language, not gibberish. The miracle is that people who have not learned the various languages are speaking in them nonetheless. There is confusion about the meaning of the miracle—and even some naysayers who assert that alcohol is involved—but this only leads to the perfect opening for the gospel to be preached.
God perfectly orchestrates this scene. Devout Jews are present when a clear miracle takes place and the gospel is to be preached for the first time. This is a ready audience—one interested in serving God and now interested to hear about Jesus. We will observe time and again through the book of Acts that God has a way of bringing together his teachers and those who seek him at exactly the right places and times. This remains true today.
------------- One Thing to Think About: How have I seen God bring together seekers and teachers?
One Thing to Pray For: A good and honest heart to be receptive to God’s word
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