Acts 2:1-12 - When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God." And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
What is your heart language? Chances are that, even if you're multi-lingual, you have one language which is closest to your heart. This is often the language your parents spoke to you, the language of your early childhood. It is the one your mother used to sing to you, your father told you stories in, your brothers and sisters used to tease you with. No matter how many languages you learn later, this one will always say "home."
This might be the reason why God chose to do a very specific miracle on the day of Pentecost. Oh, He could have done anything, but to make sure the message of Jesus got out to as many people as possible, God gave the first Christians the gift of miraculous speech. Without ever having studied, they were able to tell the story of Jesus in the languages of the pilgrims gathered in Jerusalem that day—people from across the known world. And the people listened. Three thousand were baptized that day.
A lot of people have noticed a connection with the story of Babel in Genesis. At Babel, God confused the languages of the world so no one could understand their neighbors; at Pentecost, God brought people from many languages together through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And yet, if we look more closely, we see it is not a simple reversal of Babel. The new Christians still speak many different languages, and they will keep doing that. But they will take the one message of our dying and rising Savior back to their own people groups and tell it to others in their own language. There will be one church but many languages; one body of Christ, but many nations.
God did not take their individuality away from them; He doesn't take it away from us, either. You are valuable to Him as His chosen, one-of-a-kind child. You are not simply part of a mass, one of the billions of people for whom Jesus died. You are someone God knows by name. God speaks your language and calls you to Himself.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, please let everyone hear about Your Son Jesus in their own heart languages, so they may believe. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What do you find most astonishing about the events of Pentecost Day?
2. Why were all the different nationalities of people in Jerusalem at this time?
3. Why is it important to reach out to people where they are when sharing our faith?
Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 101, 103, 108 John 15
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