Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 11:54
Bible Book: Acts / Handelinge
1 – 21
It started as an early morning prayer meeting. Quite peaceful, one would say.
But not much later, it seems as that there was considerable commotion in that part of Jerusalem. According to verse 6, “a crowd came together in bewilderment” (NIV).
What was the reason for this sudden change?
Luke tells us that the very important event of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred on that morning. When the followers of Jesus received the Holy Spirit, they were changed from a frightened and timid group to courageous witnesses – “declaring the wonders of God” (verse 11, NIV). People from various countries suddenly heard these Judeans and Galileans speaking to them in the languages they grew up with – “Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs” (verses 9-11, NIV).
When Peter stood up to explain the situation to the people that gathered, he recognized in these events a fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. He also predicted that other promises in the prophecy of Joel would soon be fulfilled. The outpouring of God’s Spirit will be a most inclusive event. It will include sons and daughters, young men and old men, men and women servants (cf verses 17-18). It is significant that people on the borders of society are included.
Page through the rest of the story of Acts and note that this trend continues. The Holy Spirit moved the followers of Christ to cross many borders and to reach out to people, irrespective of their nationality or social standing.
To think about (or discuss): Are there “boundaries” we need to cross in our world with HIV and Aids?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)