It is quite interesting that, as we
read various passages in the Bible,
we find themes that remind us of
something similar that is recorded
elsewhere in scripture. For example,
in the passage that we shared
last week, we read that the Holy
Spirit fell upon the ‘whole group’
that had remained together and
were waiting for the promise of the
Power to come to them.
And while there are several things that we could
compare with other passages, like the ‘sound’, and
the ‘wind’, and the ‘fire’, it is the communication in
various languages that I want to draw to your attention.
You may remember the part of the passage
related to the tongues of fire and the Spirit’s gift that
enabled them to communicate in different languages. This
phenomenon has been called ‘speaking in tongues’.
We understand that this gift was intended for at least
two purposes – as a demonstration of the Spirit’s
presence and power; and to enable these apostles,
and other members of the core group of believers, to
share the ‘wonders of God’ and the ‘good news of
the Gospel of Jesus’ with everyone present…in their
native language. What an amazing thing was occurring
right before their eyes and ears!
I am reminded of another story found way back in
the early part of the Book of Genesis. In this situation
we find that God used language in a different way.
The people of the earth decided that they never
wanted to fear another flood so they set about building
a tower that would reach into the heavens and be
safe from any such future event. Genesis 11.1 says
‘now the whole world had one language and a common
In this instance the purpose, intent and concept of
their project, combined with their lack of faith in
Him, were all disappointing to God and He implemented
a solution involving their language. To put
an immediate impediment in their way to halt the
building, He ‘confused their language’ so they
could not understand each other. We know that
God can do anything He pleases to shape the
experience and the lessons He wants His people
The experience of the early church leaders in which
the Holy Spirit was poured out on them all, had the
benefit and blessing of launching an amazing evangelistic
explosion of new believers. Jesus called
them, instructed them, empowered them and inspired
them to be His witnesses to all the world.
What a humbling thing it is to realize that He has
called us to the same mission!