Bible Society of South Africa

Talking about God - 6 May 2024

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

4They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

11both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia — yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!”

In the days after the ascension, the faithful probably talked a lot about how they were going to accomplish the great commission to go out and evangelise the whole world. How this was going to be rolled out would, after all, determine if what Jesus had done would only be beneficial to the Jews or if this message of salvation would conquer the whole world.

Later in the month, nearer to Pentecost, we will again look at the importance of Pentecost for the start and growth of the church. Today, we will focus on a specific event that happened at Pentecost, an event about the content of the message that this fledgling church was going to take to the world. This message would determine if the new church of Jesus would become dominant in the world.

At Pentecost, we see that apart from the sound of a great wind and what appeared like tongues of fire, another very important phenomenon was observed. After the Babylonian exile, the Jews were scattered all over the world. It is called the diaspora. These people adopted the languages of the countries where they lived. The Jews of the diaspora loved to visit Jerusalem, especial to celebrate the Jewish festivals. Most people were able to speak Greek, but on this day of Pentecost, they were hearing their home language. What did they hear? They heard the disciples talk about the great things God has done, something with which they were familiar, as the Old Testament often speaks about the great things that God has done. A beautiful example is Psalm 71:19.

What was radically different was the content of the message. When the followers of Christ were speaking about the great things that God has done, it was about the passion of Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the ascension. This message was the rock on which the church was built.

Prayer: Dear Lord, wherever I go, please help me to spread this message about the great things that you have done. Amen

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