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The Scriptorium

What Does This Mean?

Now that we have your attention...

Acts (2)

Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 2 (Lesson 2) by clicking here.

Read and meditate on Acts 2.5-13
All these diverse people were Jews or proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism, v. 11) who had assembled in Jerusalem for the feast of the first fruits. They were described as “devout men” because they kept the ancient feast of the Jews.

For reflection
1. Yet another meaning of the giving of the Spirit during the time of this particular feast is that His coming fulfills the promise inherent in the feast of first fruits. For now, the first fruits of the ongoing work of Christ were about to be gathered to Him. How can you see that God was preparing these people for what they were about to hear? Do you think God is preparing people in your life to hear His Good News? Explain.

2. This is not a miracle of “hearing”, as some have supposed; we’ve already seen that the disciples were speaking in tongues as the Spirit enabled them. It must have taken a bit of time for people to find their way to someone speaking “the mighty works of God” (v. 11) in their own language, and this would only have multiplied the excitement and the wonder. The believers were proclaiming their hope in a miraculous manner. What would the proclamation of hope look like if you were to share it with someone today?

3. Naturally, people wanted an explanation: “What does this mean?” It’s human nature to seek an explanation of things we can’t readily grasp, even if that explanation is a dismissive one (v. 13). God uses people’s natural curiosity to open hearts and minds to spiritual truths, but for that curiosity to be piqued, some remarkable evidence of spiritual life is required. But what kind of evidence?

4. A miracle of divine grace and power “parts the waters” into the hearts of thousands as the Spirit enables people to hear and believe the Good News in their own languages. The miracle of the gift of tongues here recalls the miracle of the drying up of the Jordan in Joshua 3, which gave Israel access to the “heart” of the land of promise. Both were miracles, but of a different kind. Do you expect God to work miracles in the lives of people today, miracles of “parting the waters?” Explain.

5. These first believers were proclaiming something they experienced personally and profoundly. Can we expect to be effective witnesses for Christ if we do not have a personal and profound relationship with Him? What’s involved in such a relationship?

The ongoing work of Christ shifts to the Spirit filling the Church, and the Church going to the world. One aspect of the discipline of historical theology involves studying the patterns and processes by which the Kingdom expands in and through the Church, throughout the course of history. What patterns can you discern here? To what extent are these working in your life? In your church?

Closing Prayer
As we have heard,
So we have seen
In the city of the LORD of hosts,
In the city of our God:
God will establish it forever. Selah
We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness,
In the midst of Your temple.
According to Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness.
Let Mount Zion rejoice,
Let the daughters of Judah be glad,
Because of Your judgments.

Psalm 48.8-11

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. For more insight to His work in our here and now, order the book,
The Kingship of Jesus, from our online store by clicking here.

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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