“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance… And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.” Acts 2:4,6
About one in every four Americans can carry on a conversation in a second language. Contrast this with more than half of all people who call a European Union country their home—they speak at least two languages.
If you’ve ever gone on a short-term mission trip, you’ve experienced the difficulty that many Americans have who can only speak English. Through the use of translators, teams from America can communicate with in-country ministry partners—but it can be a challenge.
This struggle to communicate across language barriers is helpful for us to consider as we read today’s verses from Acts 2, because the ability to speak and relate to each other is a powerful gift that God gave believers at Pentecost.
While the crowd was comprised of Jewish believers, it included people from all over the known world (v.5). And, here, as they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to hear the Word of God in a new way. For the first time in the lives of many believers, they could hear and understand God’s counsel in a personal way.
When God brought about this powerful, spiritual display through the Holy Spirit, He gave all believers a picture of what eternity will be like when people from “all tribes and peoples and languages” will one day worship Jesus together at His throne!
Father, thank You for sending Your Spirit to unite the hearts and minds of Your people at Pentecost. Grant me a heart that eagerly anticipates the day all people will worship You together. Amen.
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