(A Lesson from our Sabbath Keeping Youth archives!)
In 2023, Pentecost is May 28th
Before reading the story, here are some facts one should know about Pentecost. Pentecost is the Greek word for “50.” Another name for Pentecost is “Feast of Weeks”. This name comes from counting seven weeks or fifty days after the first Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread. The law defining how to count is found in Leviticus 23:9-21. In other words, one begins and ends counting with a Sunday, hence a Sunday is the day of Pentecost. Pentecost is the anniversary of the founding of the New Testament church. The same Spirit, which was given to the disciples on the day of Pentecost, is available to all whom God calls. Upon true repentance granted by God and a true belief in Jesus Christ, one may be baptized and then receive God’s Spirit through the laying-on-of-hands ceremony (Acts 2:38; 8:12-17).
After Jesus was crucified, He rose again and many of His disciples saw Him alive. Both in Jerusalem and in Galilee He walked among them for forty days. The day came when Jesus ascended into heaven, while the disciples watched. Before He did, He told them not to leave Jerusalem, but wait until they were “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). When the Day of Pentecost arrived, the apostles and other followers of Christ waited in the Upper Room. While waiting, they chose Matthias to take the place of Judas as one of the Twelve disciples. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Then there appeared, what looked to be, tongues of fire resting on each person. Each of them was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages.
At the time this took place, there were Jews and devout men from every nation in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks. When the multitude heard the news about the apostles’ speaking, they were confused and amazed. It was odd to them to hear their language spoken by men from Galilee. There were those who asked, “What does this mean?” while others mocked the apostles saying, “These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:12-13).
Peter stood up with the other eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and heed my words. We are not drunk as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.” He went on to inform them that God was fulfilling the promise He had made in prophecy to Joel (Joel 2:28-29). Peter continued to speak powerfully about the life, works, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pentecost was no longer just a festival for Israel, but for all people.
The hearts of the people listening to Peter were moved. They asked Peter what they must do. Peter told them to turn away from sin, repent and be baptized. Then those who gladly received his words were baptized. That same day, three thousand people were baptized. All that believed were together and owned all things in common. They sold their possessions and goods and divided the money among all the people and worshipped together daily.
Are you listening to the message given to all people everywhere about Pentecost? Christ speaks to and offers salvation to everyone. Christ is not concerned about your color, race or language. Peter spoke boldly on Pentecost. It didn’t matter the language, everyone could hear the Gospel message. Are you listening to the message?