It’s Pentecost Sunday but did you know that during the festival of Pentecost (originally called Weeks) that the Jews remembered the giving of the 10 commandments? God gave these commandments and the rest of the law to show people at that time how they could follow and make themselves right with him.
On the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and they immediately ran outside and began to tell people about Jesus. Those who were listening were living under the 10 commandments and the rest of the law. They knew a lot about God and they knew that their only way of encountering his presence was to live a holy life that would involve following the law perfectly.
When these listeners realized that they were encountering the presence of God as they saw the Holy Spirit at work in the disciples they would have been astonished! Peter reminded them that this was the new day that the prophet Joel had forseen:
17 “‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
Before this day, prophets were rare, these people who heard from God were few and far between, but all that was going to change.
No longer would the many have to hear from God through the few. The Spirit would enable anyone who turned to God to hear and to know Him for themselves.
Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit who would be another comforter / counsellor / advocate (John 14.16). The word ‘another’ tells us that the Holy Spirit’s role is to be the person that Jesus had been for the disciples, someone to be with us, to lead, teach, equip and inspire. The Greek word (the new testament was written in Greek) translated ‘counsellor’ is paraclete and it literally means ‘someone who comes alongside to help’. The Holy Spirit is given to guide us through life, to show us more clearly who God is, to help us see who God made us to be and to inspire, equip and help us to become that person.
Although we can know God for ourselves, we still obey what he has revealed to us in the Bible. The key difference now though is that we do this with the help and empowerment of God’s presence, the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, fill us today with your presence so that we might know God more. Transform us so that we live in a way that is honouring to Jesus, our Lord and saviour. Amen