Last week Christians celebrated the Lord Jesus’ ascension. After He gave this promise, He was taken up into heaven:
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
It was a good promise and a great assignment, in fact, it is a mission that is overwhelming and impossible except that He promised to be with us and He had in mind that this would be accomplished through a unified, international body of His Spirit filled friends.
Several days later, He made good on this good promise:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia 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!” 12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
“What does this mean?” is not a bad question for us to think about during this week leading up to Pentecost because, to think about what Pentecost means is to focus on the mission that the Lord Jesus gave us and to live in the realities of the Holy Spirit’s cleansing, power, giftings and enduring fruit.
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Have a look at Dan Sheffield’s blog: http://sheffield.typepad.com