0 days after Jesus rose from the grave, the disciples were sitting in a room waiting. For many seated in the room, this was the climatical moment they had been waiting for. For others, it was a moment of blind obedience.
Waiting For God’s Know What
In the room sat Peter, the disciple that denied being a follower of Jesus on the night of Jesus’ arrest (see Luke 22:54-62). Alongside Peter, sat John, one of the only disciples that made it to the cross with Jesus. Beside John sat the many disciples that hid frantically scared during the crucifixion. Despite the differences in how each person entered the room, the one thing they had in common was the mere fact that each of them was, well... waiting.
What were they waiting for? A promise. On the eve of Jesus’ betrayal, he spoke to His disciples regarding a promise between them and the Father.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
The promise of the Holy Spirit was something Jesus mentioned some fifty days before the moment of Acts chapter two. In the same room in which Jesus mentioned the promise, the disciples would wait for the fulfillment.
It’s hard to picture this moment because of the over-saturation of information we are privileged to. Today, when many in the Christian faith read the Bible, the drama of the situations at hand is absent. Because many of us know the ending of the story, we fail to realize the weightiness of the moment. We know the ending. We know that Peter would receive the Holy Spirit and lead thousands of people to Christ in one day. We know the gospel would spread to nations as a result. We know this… but the early church didn’t. All they knew was that they were asked to wait by Jesus.
The Power Of The Holy Spirit
Waiting isn’t something we humans are exactly the best at. In fact, many would prefer a direct “yes or no” answer instead of the option to wait. Waiting, for us, isn’t an immediate answer - it’s delayed response. Waiting for answers is something we hate to do. We would rather be told we can’t have something than to actually have to wait for it. But, as they say, somethings in life are worth waiting for.
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)
The waiting paid off. Each person in the room was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Through this power, they began to speak in tongues that were foreign to them beforehand, signifying a supernatural deposit of power from God. What once was impossible before they entered the room, was now possible through the Holy Spirit. The same spirit that lived in Christ Jesus was now living in them.
This newfound power made such an impression on Peter that immediately he began to speak boldly to the bystanders outside of the room.
“But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.” (Acts 2:14-15)
The same man who some weeks before was denying the very existence of Jesus, was now boldly proclaiming him. Why was he doing it? The risk of doing so was still the same. Even though He rose from the grave, Jesus was still an outlaw to the religious establishment. What was now different about Peter? Simply put, the Holy Spirit.
This single moment of transformation is not an exaggeration or a typo in the book of Acts. In one singular moment, Peter’s life completed changed through a direct encounter with the Holy Spirit. The courage to boldly proclaim Jesus (something that was once foreign to Peter) was now fully exercised through the Holy Spirit.
What Happened After Pentecost?
Now filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples boldly disbanded and began to proclaim the kingdom of God to the surrounding regions. The lives of people affected by their witness became revolutionary. Each day, those that were formerly lost were radically being impacted by the power of the gospel.
“And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)
“And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number..” (Acts 4:17)
“The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7)
“So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.” (Acts 9:31)
“And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.” (Acts 11:21)
“So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.” (Acts 16:5)
40 days after Easter, through one direct encounter with the Holy Spirit, the entire world changed. What happened after Pentecost should light a fire underneath every believer in the man who hung between two criminals. The Word of God commands believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18), and we can understand why. When believers are filled with the Holy Spirit the whole world is affected by the glory of God.
Live Life Filled With God
If you would like to learn more about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit, read this. Today, know this - God has not left us powerless to fulfill his plan to bring the gospel to the world. He has given us the power of his Spirit. Like Peter, one direct encounter with the Holy Spirit will change your life.