Jesus Begins Building His Church
I imagine the opponents of the Lord Jesus felt they had dodged a bullet, to use a modern term, as weeks passed following Jesus death with no further stirring from his followers. When the soldiers reported to the religious leaders the events of Jesus’ resurrection, I can imagine their fear of what more could develop. As the weeks passed with no reports of concerning Jesus, nor rumors of resurgence among his followers, they were probably beginning to breathe easier. But 50 days after Passover on the feast of Pentecost things began to rapidly change!
The crowd of worshippers gathered for the feast reported the sudden appearance of signs from heaven.
There was the sound of a rushing wind surrounding a group who were meeting for regular prayer.
Then what looked like tongues of fire appeared upon those who remained loyal to Jesus.
What is more, they heard these Galileans speaking about Jesus in many different languages of worshipers who had come from the surrounding nations for the feast!
Suddenly Jesus' followers, who had been quiet since his death, began to boldly assert that Jesus was alive and had fulfilled all the Scriptures concerning Christ the Messiah! Following these signs, the reports of healings and miracles began to occur in the presence of Jesus' followers.
The Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2, signaled the beginning of the church that Jesus declared he would build! This church is endued with power through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Holy Spirit was a promise God had given through the prophets to bring about a dramatic and necessary change in those who would believe and follow him.
These followers of Jesus did not use their new God-given power to begin an opposition movement against the leaders who had condemned the Lord Jesus. They did not use their power to exert influence or control over others. The Holy Spirit’s power appears not to be used for either political influence or personal gain. This fledgling group was characterized by boldness and desire to talk to everyone about Jesus. They consistently showed love for one another, joy in their worship, compassion for the weak, and generosity for those in need.
In Acts 2:47, it states that this group of believers earned the respect and favor of all the people. Today I am not sure those around us are as clear that the motives of the church are like those of the early believers.
On the calendar of the Christian church, Sunday, May 23rd, is recognized as Pentecost Sunday. It is important for us to remember and celebrate this day as it reminds us of the kind of church Jesus is building. It would not be wise to seek to build a church at contrary purposes with the Lord Jesus. May we, as Paul stated, be labourers together with God as he builds his church.