All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them . . . When [people] heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?”
Get the Message Out
Imagine being able to speak a foreign language without studying it. You are standing in front of a person who does not speak your language. You know what you want to say, and you open your mouth, and words come out that mean precisely what you want to say, but it’s in the other person’s language, not your own. Wouldn’t that be amazing? That’s the gift of speaking in tongues.
God gave that gift to his disciples on Pentecost. It was a special gift from the Holy Spirit. It was not to impress people. It was not to make those disciples proud of how special they were. It was for one purpose: to get the message out.
Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended into heaven. His disciples were to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins to everyone they met. But what if those people spoke a different language? The disciples were all from the same people group, and they spoke the same languages. Did they each have to take time to learn a new language in order to take the gospel to the ends of the earth?
Instead of taking that time, the disciples received the gift of speaking in tongues. After the gospel was passed on to many people speaking many languages, the Spirit did not give that gift any more.
You might wish you had that gift today. But God knows precisely what he is doing. He has given you other gifts. One gift is your knowledge and faith that Jesus is your Savior. Another gift is your penitent heart. A further gift is your desire to get that message about Jesus out there. God bless that desire.
Holy Spirit, give me the will and the opportunity to speak about Jesus to everyone I meet. Amen.