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Acts 2:1-11 – wind, fire and speaking

Jerusalem was once again crowded. Seven weeks after Jesus death at Passover, the Jewish people gathered for the day of Pentecost. Pentecost celebrated the first gathering of the wheat harvest and was also the anniversary of the giving of the law at Mount Sinai.

Two things came from heaven. Having just been told that Jesus ascended into heaven the passage assumes that we will understand that what is coming from heaven has been sent by the Lord Jesus.

First there is a sound that is like but not the same as a mighty rushing wind and then something that looks like, but it is not the same as a pillar of fire. In the Old Testament these kinds of things were indicators of God’s presence. Both wind and fire could be symbols of the Spirit of God.

The pillar of fire then divides into tongues of fire that come and rest upon each believer enabling them to speak in different languages. In many ways this event is like the reversal of the Tower of Babel where God confused the language of people so the nations could not work together in idolatry. At Pentecost God is reaching out to all nations with the true knowledge of him.

The content of what they say are the mighty acts of God which have just been displayed in the ministry, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. It is their being filled That enables them to speak. God’s Spirit has changed their hearts and from their hearts come new words. The significance of this event is in tomorrow’s passage.