When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, 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, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:1-21, NRSV)
Everyone gathered in Jerusalem that day heard the disciples telling the good news of Jesus Christ each in their own language. How did this happen, and why were they in Jerusalem in the first place?
Well Pentecost is actually a Jewish Festival that occurs 49 days after the Passover, so many devote Jews would have been gathered in Jerusalem for the Festival and possibly many Greeks were there because of the Festival as well. They were celebrating the Weeks or the Harvest. So they were gathered there. And the disciples saw this as an excellent time to share the good news. And as the Spirit gave them utterance, everyone heard them plainly.
So how strange is this? So strange that some of those gathered for this utterance said the disciples were drunk! But how does that actually explain what God did here?
The prophecy of Joel says that all men and women regardless of class, position or anything we use to divide will receive the Spirit when God pours it out. And all will call on the name of the Lord and be saved!
So take heart that the Spirit has been given and hold tight to the promises of God.