Monday, May 28, 2012


Today, Sunday May 27th, we Christians celebrated something unique.  No other religion has a celebration of such a day as this. Pentecost. What is it? What does it mean? Why is it unique?

Pentecost: it is the fiftieth day after Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus!  It correlates to the Hebrew celebration of Shavuot (the feast of weeks) also harvest time. In the Jewish (Hebrew) calendar, there were several days where [ALL] males were required to attend services and present themselves before God at the Temple in Jerusalem.  Shavuot was one of those times, therefore many people from all over the [known] world were in Jerusalem for this time of celebration.
Painting of the Apostles @ Pentecost by El Greco

The Christian celebration changed on that day, because of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the 120 [main] followers of Christ who were hiding in the upper room for fear of the Jews and Romans. As they were praying, and worshiping God they began proclaiming God's praises and worship loudly and publicly.  Enough that it caused a commotion. People from all over the known world heard them speaking in their native languages, and were amazed.  They were also acting so joyously, that the people thought they were drunk.  The visitors to Jerusalem, and other residents there knew these men to be uneducated people, common workers for the most part, and several of them merely fishermen.  This meant that they were very unlikely to have learned the languages they seemed to be speaking.  [Makes me wonder if they were speaking foreign tongues, or if the people just heard in their language -- Perhaps God changed their hearing? -- Nah, the Bible said they spoke in the foreign tongues, so we'll stick with that.]   

Peter then spoke up in a loud voice and explained to the people that they were not drunk, as the people supposed.  He explained that the same Jesus they had seen crucified a few weeks ago, had risen from the dead, and had promised to send the Holy Spirit to them.  This was the fulfillment of this promise.  Peter, the same one who had denied even knowing Christ on the night of his betrayal and trial, was now speaking boldly, proclaiming Christ to a horde of strangers and fellow Israelites, as well as any Romans present.  He explained the speaking in tongues was an effect of the filling of the Holy Spirit in order that they might all understand the followers and hear the good news [Gospel].

Over 3,000 people were added to the group of believers that day.  What an amazing example of the power of God's love and Holy Spirit. The apostles were no longer afraid, they began meeting in the Temple and synagogues again, and proclaiming the love of Jesus publicly and unashamedly.  What is unique about this is that the disciples changed instantly from being afraid to being bold.  They spoke in foreign tongues as if they had spoken them all their lives, yet they were unfamiliar with the languages. Many times the number of followers of Christ became converted due to this miracle.

May God fill all of us with His power, that we may live boldly for Him, and help others to love and accept Him as well!