2When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and restedOr And tongues as of fire appeared to them, distributed among them, and rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
8And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians--we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God." 12And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine."
14But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
22"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know-- 23this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25For David says concerning him,
"'I saw the Lord always before me,for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,or let your Holy One see corruption. 28You have made known to me the paths of life;you will make me full of gladness with your presence.'
29"Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
33Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
"'The Lord said to my Lord,Sit at my right hand, 35until I make your enemies your footstool.'
36Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
37Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright (c)2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. http://www.esv.org
The "vacation" included 1,720 highway miles back and forth across Interstate70, the asphalt cummerbund of the country. Strapped into their safety seats like tiny cosmonauts were an insatiably curious 4 year old boy and his ebullient 3 year old brother. There are lots of questions to ask in 29 hours on the road! And in western Kansas, the horizon is punctuated by crops of enormous windmills. They stand over 260 feet tall, with wingspans of nearly 250 feet. Turning slowly in the Mid-American wind, they beckon those questions like mesmerizing sirens of the prairie.
"Why are those there, Grandpa?" "They make electricity from the wind!" , I answered, foolishly thinking that would do it. "How?" Then came my ridiculous soliloquy about generators, and magnetic flux, and wire coils and other mumbo-jumbo that didn't even make sense to me. What I should have given the boys was the observation not an explanation. The powerful, invisible wind turns those blades. And the wind's power is changed into visible things like light and movement. But the light and movement began with the blowing wind. Exactly how that happens is hard to understand, but it's easy to see the results.
That's how Peter talked on that Pentecost morning when the power of the Holy Spirit blew across the early church. Something amazing happened, something frightening and mysterious. And when the stunned crowd asked the church's spokesman for an explanation, he gave them the observation. He told them that they were witnessing the one, true, invisible God making himself visible through the changed hearts and actions of His followers. God had sent His son to be the exact representation of the Father, said Peter. And now, the breathtaking, awe-inspiring reality is that God has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell His people. And why? To make His glories known, to make Himself visible in the lives of the "Christ's Ones". At last, the gathered people of God will live out their purpose; to bear God's image in God's world. They will be the body of Christ. We have seen it, said Peter, and so have you.
So what happened to the believers? When the wind of the Spirit blew into their hearts and transformed them, what characterized them? What was the visible outcome? They became a united people, empowered by God and characterized by, "...glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people." May we live out the powerful reality of God the Holy Spirit at work in our lives to make our Savior seen.