November 5 I Thursday
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” —Revelation 7:9
The conversations we see in our world today advocating for human rights and equality are not new. As long as sin has been in the world, racism, injustice and bias have been a part of human existence. When we study the Old Testament, we will notice the devastating impacts and far-reaching consequences of sin. From its impact on families to communities to nations, it is evident throughout Scripture that division, hatred, racism and systems of injustice have always been with us.
Yet, the kingdom of God that Jesus was establishing consisted of every nation, tribe, people and language. In His post-resurrection state, Jesus met with His apostles and told them not to depart from Jerusalem yet, saying, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus knew that the message of salvation is going to fill the whole earth, transcend borders, invite everyone and embrace all cultures and all people groups on earth. But Jesus did not tell His disciples how it was going to happen. He did not give them a manual explaining what was going to happen in the future or a strategic plan telling them how it was going to take place. Jesus simply said, “Wait in Jerusalem, and you will be clothed with power from on high.”
At the birth of the early church in Acts 2, the disciples were praying when suddenly, a mighty rushing wind came and filled them all with the Holy Spirit. Afterwards, they began speaking in different languages. This happened during the Jewish Feast of Weeks, where many God-fearing Jews from every nation gathered to celebrate in Jerusalem. These God-fearing Jews came to see what was happening and were amazed when they heard the disciples declaring praises to God in their own languages. The Holy Spirit empowered the early church to share the message of Jesus with everyone.
The event was a dramatic reversal of the incident in Genesis 11, when mankind wanted to build a name for themselves by building a tower to reach the heavens, but God confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. In Acts 2, God gathered the nations, welcomed the different people groups of the world and enabled them to understand the message of the gospel. The end of Acts 2 reveals that many of these God-fearing Jews repented of their sins, placed their faith in Christ and were baptized.
From the beginning, the gospel welcomes everyone into the kingdom of God. Do we reflect this truth as we share Christ to the rest of the world?
Prayer: Precious Lord Jesus, thank You that Your gospel message welcomes everyone into the kingdom of God. Let Your Spirit empower me to transcend boundaries, cultures and language as I share Your gospel.