Summary: The Holy Spirit is Given! at Pentecost - (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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(1). The Day of Pentecost (vs 1a)

(2). The Believers Together (vs 1b)

(3). The Coming of the Spirit (vs 2-4)

(4). The Reaction of the Crowd (vs 5-13)



One stormy night an elderly couple entered the lobby of a small hotel and asked for a room:

• The clerk said they were full;

• And they would probably find so were all the hotels in town.

• “But I can’t send a fine couple like you out in the rain,

• would you be willing to sleep in my room?”

• The couple hesitated, but the clerk insisted.

• The next morning when the man paid his bill, he said,

• “You’re the kind of man who should be managing the best hotel in the United States.

• Someday I’ll build you one.”

• The clerk smiled politely.

• And the couple left and that seemed to be that…

• A few years later the clerk received a letter containing and an aeroplane ticket;

• The letter invited him to visit New York.

• When the clerk arrived, his host took him to the corner of 5th Avenue and 34th Street,

• Where stood a magnificent new building.

• “That,” explained the man,

• “Is the hotel I have built for you to manage.”

• The man was William Waldorf Astor,

• And the hotel was the original Waldorf-Astoria.

• TRANSITION: William Waldorf Astor was a man who kept his promise;

• This chapter is the fulfilment of a promise.

• On the eve of his crucifixion Jesus reassured his troubled disciples with a promise;

• He promised that ‘another helper’ (‘Spirit of truth’) would come.

• Up to this point the disciples had only seen the Holy Spirit externally.

• But soon they would experience him internally.

• As Jesus told them; He “will be in you”.

• Forty days after the cross and resurrection of Jesus from the dead;

• He has appeared to the disciples several times,

• At the end of forty day period just before he ascended back into heaven;

• Jesus repeated his promise, giving a few more details.

• In Acts chapter 1 verses 5 & 8a:

“For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit...’

8...But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’”

• Jesus made a promise to his disciples;

• And in Acts chapter 2 verses 1-13 – he kept it!


• Although Jesus told them what would happen;

• He did not tell them how;

• Nor did he tell them exactly when.

• So despite the warning they were all taken by surprise!

(1). The Day of Pentecost (vs 1a)

“When the day of Pentecost came…”

• There were three great Jewish festivals on the Jewish calendar;

• Every male Jew living within twenty miles of Jerusalem;

• Was legally bound to come and attend these great occasions.

• They were Passover:

• Which celebrated the Jews freedom from slavery in Egypt.

• There was Pentecost:

• Which is the feast we will look at in a moment.

• There was Tabernacles: Which commemorates the forty-year period;

• During which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters.

Pentecost is the festival mentioned in verse 1:

• Our English word “Pentecost” is a transliteration of the Greek word ‘pentekostos’,

• Which means “fifty.”

• But Christians did not invent the phrase “fiftieth day.” Or “Pentecost”;

• Rather, they borrowed it from Greek-speaking Jews;

• Who used the phrase to refer to a particular Jewish holiday.

• This name comes from an expression in the book of Leviticus chapter 23 verse 16:

• Which instructs people to count seven weeks or “fifty days”

• From the end of one Jewish holiday called ‘Passover’;

• To the beginning of the next holiday called ‘Pentecost’

• i.e. A bit like us counting the days between Christmas Day & New Year’s day (only 6)


• Jews refer to this holiday we call ‘Pentecost’ as the ‘Festival of Weeks’,

• Or, more simply, ‘Weeks’ (‘Shavuot’ in Hebrew).

• It is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan;

• (for us Gentiles that is around late May or early June).

Now this feast or festival has two meanings; one agricultural and the other historical.

• FIRST: Agricultural:

• Shavuot was originally a harvest festival (Exodus chapter 23 verse 16).

• It was a celebration of the grain harvest.

• When seven weeks, worth of harvest had been gathered in.

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