Prior to the point where this story began, about 2,000 years ago, God had allowed Jewish people to be dispersed from Israel to many different places – including regions of Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Italy, Greece, & Arabia. During this dispersion, they had acquired the languages & dialects of these different places. And from these different places, they sometimes received new converts to the Jewish faith. Whenever they returned to Israel, they brought all this with them. Jerusalem, particularly, had become a very cosmopolitan city as a result.
The day of Pentecost (1) came about 50 days after Jesus had risen from death & about 10 days after he had returned to heaven.
On that Pentecost day, the believers gathered in Jerusalem to remember Jesus & to worship God & to draw close to him in prayer. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit of God invaded their fellowship — with the sound of a strong wind & the appearance of flames flickering over every person there.
As the Spirit gave them power, all the believers, speaking in many different languages & dialects, began testifying boldly about how Jesus had changed their hearts & changed their lives.
When a large crowd of people gathered to learn the cause of this uproar, every one of them was able to hear testimonies about Jesus in their own language & dialect. They were amazed that this common testimony about Jesus was being shared simultaneously by so many different people!
In our day, people also hear this account with amazement. What happened to these people? And why?
(1) Acts 2:1-12