The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Acts 2:1-7
The festival of weeks or more commonly know as Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks after Passover. On this day, Jews from all over the globe would come to the Holy city of Jerusalem to be part of the festivities. And this is the day that the Holy Spirit had chosen to descend upon the disciples. On receiving the Holy Spirit, the disciples started speaking in different languages. The foreigners who heard the commotion drew nearer and each one of them could understand them in their own native languages. Amazed and perplexed, they wondered how did the rural Galileans manage to learn so many languages and wondered what this all meant.
This was not the first time the Holy Spirit came upon mere mortals. In the Old Testament we see the Holy Spirit came upon Joseph, Samson, David and many other prophets and men of God and gave them the gifts of interpreting dreams, feats of strength and visions about the future. In Genesis we see that the Spirit of God descended upon the people building the Tower at Babel and confused them with different languages so that they could not carry on towards their goal. Over here the Holy Spirit gives the disciples the gift of languages so that they can easily proclaim the Word and unite God’s people.
Peter Addresses the Crowd
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. …And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” – Acts 2:14-17,21
Peter, seeing the curiosity of the onlookers, seized the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel. The illiterate fisherman started quoting passages from the book of Joel and Psalms to prove to the jews gathered, that Jesus was the Messiah that they had been waiting for. The Holy Spirit empowered Peter so that he could stand for Jesus, unlike the previous instance when he denied even knowing Jesus.
The Holy Spirit gave Peter the power of interpretation and the scriptures started making sense to him. He and the others gathered, could understand what David was talking about, when he mentioned two Lords (Psalm 110:1). All those who had gathered, repented, took baptism and received the Holy Spirit. The disciples who were in hiding for nearly fifty days came out of their shells and boldly proclaimed the message of Christ. Their numbers increased by three thousand in a single day.
The Fellowship of the Believers
All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:44-47
The disciples regularly gathered in the temple courts and in the homes of the believers teaching the scriptures, breaking bread together and spreading the Gospel to their countrymen. More and more believers were added to their fold. They sold their possessions to sustain their mission and everyone helped each other out.
This was the start of the first church and it serves as a reminder to us about what a true fellowship should be. A fellowship without Christ as its sole purpose is just friendship.