The Gift of Tongues as a Glorious Display of the GospelFriday, June 19, 2009
C-o-c-a-c-o-l-a. C-o-c-a-c-o-l-a! C-o-c-a-c-o-l-a!!
1 At one time all the people of the world spoke
the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the
east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia* and settled
there. 3 They began saying to each other, "Let's make bricks and
harden them with fire." (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and
tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, "Come, let's build a great city
for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous
and keep us from being scattered all over the world."
5 But the LORD came down to look at the city and
the tower the people were building. 6 "Look!" he said. "The people are
united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out
to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let's go down and confuse the
people with different languages. Then they won't be able to understand each
other." 8 In that way, the LORD scattered them all over the
world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called
Babel,* because that is where the LORD confused the people with different
languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.
1 On the day of Pentecost* all the believers were meeting together in one place.
2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,* as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
The Spirit who created the world's languages at Babel united them again in a miraculous, supernatural gift at Pentecost. The one who saw to it that the people of the earth would scatter toward God's purposes at Babel, saw to it at Pentecost that those same scattered people would now be united by Spirit through reconciliation in Jesus.
In short, the manifestation of tongues at Pentecost was a divine, redemptive, correction to divine judgment at Babel. And it's message was not "let us make a name for ourselves," but rather the one that Peter preached that day...
22 God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene* by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know...
32 "God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. 33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God's right hand...
36 So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!
It's not a name for ourselves, but a name for Jesus, the Nazarene, the Messiah, the resurrected One, the exalted One, the most honored One in heaven, the Authority of Heaven, the Lord!
Holy cow...the chill bumps!
Absolutely breathtaking...this display of the Father's original intent at Babel, now redeemed at Pentecost, facilitated in the Spirit, paved by the gospel.