The Book of Acts chapter 1 is like the first episode of a new season on a TV show you love. It has flashbacks and a set up for something major to come. The first Christians are instructed to stay in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. The disciples gather and take inventory of who is among them. Matthias is chosen to be the twelfth apostle as a replacement of Judas Iscariot.
Part 1’s Passage
1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
5Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” Acts 2:1-13 NASB
Pentecost was an organic event where people gathered because of a miracle of God. God caused this miracle suddenly and without direct warning to those who God would use to capitalize off of this miracle. Speaking in tongues is so often the highlight of this passage and rightfully so, but we must not overlook the preceding miracle of the Holy Spirit that gathered the Jews from the various nations of the earth into one place. Pentecost was an organic event that brought people to God, not through grandiose marketing schemes, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This will be a three part article series based on Pentecost, as the celebrated day is nigh. It is based on my own studying of scripture, simply opening up the bible and seeing what it says. I believe the best way to study a bible is verse by verse, supplemented by historical and linguistic insight. What does scripture say, not what do I want it to say. My main takeaway was the overlooked portion where the Holy Spirit brought people to a singular location to hear the gospel. Churches often try to supplement the power of the Holy Spirit, but this spirit as we will later see is what drives real church growth.