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