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There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were blown away. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?”
Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene; Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; Even Cretans and Arabs.
“They’re speaking in our mother tongues, describing God’s mighty works!”
That day about three thousand took him [Peter} at his word, and were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, life together, the common meal, and the prayers.
(Acts 2: 1-11, 41-42) The Message Bible
I’ve had experience at retreats where several hundred people were invited to pray out loud simultaneously with each other. It’s quite a sound; praise and petition rising up with many voices as a single unit.
In my research on the way people prayed during the time mentioned in verse 42, that’s what would have happened. The difference? Many languages at the same time instead of mostly one. Quite a sound.
Trying to imagine a time when people walked, maybe hundreds of miles, to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for a feast, in this case, the Feast of Pentecost is hard for us. Also, in our time and culture, it is hard to imagine when all teaching/preaching was oral, with no teaching tools, sound augmentation, or note taking means to aid remembering. Repetition of the message, careful listening, and living examples would be essentials that would enable the pilgrims to take the message and their experiences back to their own country, And that was what took place during the time they were there.
There would be much to teach these people and I am convinced the one thing the disciples asked Jesus to teach them would be top priority. And that is how to pray. Luke 11:1 records one of the disciples saying, “Lord teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.” In Matthew 6:5-9, Jesus teaches how not to pray. What Jesus taught in both Luke and Matthew was what we call the, “Lord’s Prayer.” I can imagine how revolutionary it would be for those pilgrims to be taught to pray to God as Father.
This week take some time to imagine what it would be like to be one of the crowd who heard for the first time what Peter and the other apostles were teaching about life in Jesus Christ and how Jesus taught us to pray.
What really tugs my heart; we will spend eternity worshiping with them in the presence of the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit!!
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) The Amplified Bible
And I will ask the Father and He will send another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener), that He may remain with you forever, The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him nor know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you constantly and will be in you.
(John 14:16-17) The Amplified Bible
But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in my place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will remind you of everything I have told you.
(John 14:26) The Amplified Bible
But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener), comes Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He (Himself) will testify regarding Me.(John 15:26) The Amplified Bible
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
(John 16:12-15) NIV
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; (Acts 1:8a) NIV
Various versions use different descriptive titles for what and how the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, will act as he lives inside us. The Amplified Bible puts them in each of the sentences above so we can think about the different ways he has been sent to represent the Father and Jesus and to act on their behalf in our lives.
I researched the antique meaning of the word “power” in both the Greek, “dunimus”, which meant “potential and ability”, and the Latin “potere”, which meant “to be able to“.
As I read the above scriptures, the descriptive titles for the Holy Spirit, what Jesus said the Spirit of Truth would be about, the definitions of “power”, I am in awe of all that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit desires to do in each one of us that have come to believe in and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
For me, it is learning and being Holy Spirit-enabled to live the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13.
How about you? Take time to read and ponder the above scriptures. Pray about what the Holy Spirit may desire to enable you to do as you continue to learn to walk in the way of Jesus with his heart.