Summary: There are those who need to make a decision to submit your lives to Christ...to repent, confess, and then receive Him as Savior and Lord. Others need that infilling of the Holy Spirit that will give you the power to be the effective witness Christ wants
THE MIRACLE OF PREACHING
Last week I spoke on the miracle of communication, and we saw the amazement of these strangers to Jerusalem when they heard the disciples speak in their particular languages.
It was clear that they were Galileans, who knew no other language than their own...they were common people, not at all known for being educated...
But here we see that these visitors acknowledge that these believers spoke their languages both correctly and fluently. These were languages that were not readily known in Jerusalem, and probably were undervalued and even despised. (The Jews were an exclusive bunch)
And so it was a pleasing surprise for them to hear the language of their own country spoken. (ex-hearing own language in foreign place)
The things they heard were the wonders of God. It is probable that the disciples spoke of Christ...His redemption and the grace of His gospel...so they heard them both praise God for these great things - but also instructed the people concerning these things.
And the fact that they did it in their own native tongue helped to convince them that this was truly from God...and also was a plain indication of the favor of God intended for the Gentiles. The knowledge and the worship of God would no longer be confined to the Jews.
It is interesting that it was a careless, scoffing comment that prompted the first Christian sermon. Some of the people who heard the praise of the believers were amazed, and asked "What does this mean?"
Others just mocked, and made fun saying, "They have had too much wine." Now, it would be absurd for them to think that too much wine would enable them to speak in other languages which they had never learned...
But being native Jews, they didn't know that what was being spoken was really the language of other nations. They thought it was just a bunch of gibberish and nonsense...like a drunk might spew out.
I believe it is much the same today...when anything that is beyond our feeble minds is nonsense...but in actuality many of the things we write off and even laugh about may be the Spirit of God moving in a way that we have yet to understand or accept.
Well, being accused of being a bunch of drunkards got Peter on his feet! He had to explain the absurdity of that criticism. This man who just over a month earlier had repeatedly denied the Lord because of fear, now boldly proclaimed the truth to all of Jerusalem.
This Spirit-filled man now was neither afraid nor ashamed to speak out to the crowds and explain these events that had taken place.
"These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning." (Or the third hour as some translations read)
Josephus, the Jewish historian, tells us that the first meal of the day was not until the fourth hour, 10 o'clock, and on the Sabbath, a larger meal was served at the sixth hour - around noon.
Peter's responses in our language and custom today would be, "What do you mean? We haven't even had breakfast yet and lunch won't be for three hours."
The Jews of that time made morning sacrifices before they ate their first meal...and wine was only consumed at the main meal. So the criticism was out of line and Peter wanted those who had made it to know just how stupid it was.
And once Peter started, he was caught up by the Spirit's power. (He fell under the anointing) A further miracle of Pentecost resulted...the miracle of preaching.
You may wonder why I call preaching a miracle...we've all heard plenty of preaching that didn't seem very miraculous. Maybe it was a miracle you stayed awake...
But the preaching of a biblical text with the power of the Spirit, to people whom He has prepared, seldom lacks for miraculous results... such as conviction, faith, and changed lives.
Authentic preaching is really prophesy...not foretelling, but forthtelling. It is done with boldness, courage, and urgency. Preaching is certainly a special calling, but it's main purpose is to proclaim the Gospel in an impelling, or motivating - driving way so that ƒaeveryƒ` member can be prophetic in sharing the faith.
Peter explained that the gift of the Holy Spirit had produced the prophetic praise that the crowds had heard the believers speaking out. It was exactly what the prophet Joel had predicted, based on what the Lord had told him:
"I will pour out my Spirit on all people...and they will prophesy"
Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke with other tongues as the Spirit enabled him...yet he did not set aside the Scriptures, or think he was above them.
The Holy Spirit was not given to supersede the Scriptures, but to enable us to understand them and to take that knowledge and proclaim it freely and with a holy boldness.