2 May. Acts 2:5-13

2 May. Everyone hears the Good News about Jesus

“There were some religious Jews staying in Jerusalem who were from every country in the [Mediterranean] world. When they heard this noise [of Jesus’s followers speaking in different languages by the power of the Holy Spirit], a crowd came together. They were all surpised, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.”

“They were completely amazed at this. They said, ‘Look! Aren’t all these people that we hear speaking from Galilee? Then how is it possible that we each hear them in our own languages? We are from different places: Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the areas of Libya near Cyrene, Rome (both Jews and those who have become Jews), Crete and Arabia. But we hear them telling in our own languages about the great things God has done!’”

“They were all amazed and confused, asking each other, ‘What does this mean?’”

“But others were making fun of them, saying, ‘They have had too much wine' [and are drunk].”

          (Acts 2:5-13)

 

 

The Day of Pentecost (27th May in 30AD) was a big day in the Jewish calendar. The Jewish festivals (whose precise dates were based on lunar months) were laid down in the Law of Moses (see Exodus 23:14-17 & Leviticus 23:1-44). There were three main annual Jewish religious festivals – 1. The Festival of Unleavened Bread (Passover / Firstfruits) 2. The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and 3. Ingathering (Tabernacles) (for more details see The Bible Journey | Major Jewish Religious Festivals ).

Because it was one of the main Jewish religious holy days (holidays), Jerusalem was crowded with Jewish religious pilgrims from across the known (Mediterranean) world. They had come to worship God in the Temple in Jerusalem, where it was thought that God dwelt.

This was the appropriate day chosen by God (the ‘Kairos’ moment) to fill the followers of Jesus to overflowing with the power of the Holy Spirit in order to equip them with the strength of character and the speaking ability needed to spread the Good News of Jesus’s death and resurrection around the world.

Luke (the author of ‘Acts’) tells us that religious Jews were there that morning from all over the [known] world, and they would, in time, spread the good news across the globe (see the map). In a time of no global Internet, radio, TV or satellite broadcasting, God chose the most effective way of spreading the good news about salvation and wholeness of life through following Jesus as Lord and Messiah – human beings!

And we’re told that about 3,000 religious Jews went away from Jerusalem that day, spreading the good news of Jesus across the eastern Mediterranean world, and as far west as Rome – the centre of the vast Roman empire (see Acts 2:41).

The most amazing thing about Pentecost in 30AD is the way these Jews heard the good news in their OWN local languages – Parthian, Elamite, Farsi (Persian), Greek, Latin and numerous other local languages that God enabled Jesus’s followers to speak through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. As Jews, these men would have been taught Hebrew as children in order to read the Jewish Scriptures (the Jewish Law and the Prophets) in their local synagogue. The (Jewish) followers of Jesus COULD have spread the Good News about Jesus (a Jew) in Hebrew (the universal language of the Jews); but God chose to spread the word in numerous local Gentile languages!

Have you ever wondered why? It’s simple – the message about Jesus’s love and forgiveness wasn’t confined to religious Jews who spoke Hebrew! It was for ALL people, Jew or Greek, Parthian or North African, Egyptian or Italian. The gospel was spread in locally-spoken languages for the benefit of both Jews and non-Jews throughout the world. THIS is the most amazing thing about the birth of the Christian church at Pentecost!

The map shows the parts of the world where Jews visiting Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost heard the good news about Jesus in 30AD.

You can read more about this exciting day @ The Bible Journey | The believers are filled with the Holy Spirit


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