“The Miracle of Pentecost”
I want to start with something funny. I heard about this wife and husband. They were celebrating their sixtieth birthdays together. An angel suddenly appeared and said that God is going to grant them each one special request. They were so excited. The wife said, “My request is that we would be able to travel all over the world.” And then “pop,” and smoke was clear. She had tickets in her hand. Her husband put his head down and said, “My request is that I would be able to marry a woman, thirty years younger than me. And “pop,” and then smoke was clear. He became ninety years old.
Today, I want to talk about “miracles.” As you may guess, the word miracle means the intervention of supernatural power in keeping with a higher spiritual law that supersedes human nature laws. Our laws are the statements of how things usually work. Our talents and intellectual abilities are believed to define the limits of our performance. We may say it’s a miracle when a personality is transformed, or a person can think and act beyond the limitations of his/her capacities. In other words, miracle means that “the impossible happens.”
Sometimes we dream we would have a miracle in our lives. What kind of miraculous things do you want to happen in your life? As I shared in the funny story, if God would grant you one special request, what would you ask God for?
We can find many miraculous stories in the Bible. Especially, Jesus’ ministry was full of miracles: he made wine from water: fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish: healed the sick: walked on water: rose people from the dead. Do you think that it could happen today? You may say, “That’s because of Jesus.” You may be right. However, if they just happened because of Jesus, the Bible might not matter to us. Furthermore, Jesus, perhaps, might be a liar. Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). Jesus said that we could do what Jesus did. Also, we will do even greater things than Jesus did. Please pay attention to who is “the one,” who will do what Jesus did and will do greater things than Jesus did. Yes, Jesus said, “the one who believes in me.” The one means, “Who believes in Jesus.” I understand that we believe in Jesus Christ our Lord, or at least some of you try to believe in Jesus, or we may say that we all are growing in faith. That’s why we are here to worship God.
We gathered together this morning to worship God in the name of Jesus. Also, we believe Jesus Christ our Lord is here among us. Jesus said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). Jesus also said, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14). Why don’t you ask Jesus about what you really need? Remember, all miraculous things in the Bible happened with prayers. Jesus prayed before feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:19). He prayed before raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:40-41). When his disciples failed to drive the evil spirit out, Jesus said, “this kind can come out only by prayer” (Mark 9:29). Prayer is a great means of grace to bring miracles into our life. If we can make things happen, it is not called a
“miracle.” But, if it takes place when we can’t make things happen, we call it a “miracle.” Remember, if you want to see a miracle, you have to have faith in God and have to have eyes of faith to see a miracle. You know, Moses divided the Red Sea when the Israelites made an exodus from Egypt. He prayed to God. The fact that God parted the Red Sea happened because of Moses’ prayers. Moses said to people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm, and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today” (Exodus 14:13). The miracle will happen when we believe in God and when we pray in faith.
Today’s scripture describes the miracle of Pentecost. After Jesus’ ascension, his disciples gathered together in one place while they ran away and scattered when Jesus died on the cross. As Jesus said to them, they stayed in Jerusalem and all prayed, waiting for the Holy Spirit. In today’s scripture, it describes how the Holy Spirit came on the people. In other words, it describes that a miracle happens in the first church. “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And, suddenly, from heaven, there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the
Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (Acts 2:1-4). In this passage, what do you think the miracle is? You might say, “The Holy Spirit came on them;” “they could speak different languages.” What about “they stayed in one place, praying at all?” Before the Holy Spirit presented visibly, the miracle was happening in them and among them.
The miracle changed personality with supernatural gifts of intellect, emotional freedom, and a conviction that all things are possible. That’s the miracle of Pentecost. One hundred and twenty people who were frightened, helpless, self-centered, willful, and discouraged were transformed into new creatures. They were infused with supernatural power intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Imagine they were full of fear when Jesus died on the cross. They denied and abandoned Jesus. They locked the door when they gathered together. However, on the day of Pentecost, imagine how the other people in Jerusalem could hear their prayers. When they prayed in diverse languages, the people in Jerusalem could hear them, and they were amazed. It meant they didn’t lock the door, but they prayed in faith without any fear. They opened their hearts, minds, and doors so that God worked through them. The miracle was that the disciples who scattered with fear could gather in one place. The miracle was that the disciples who denied and ran away from Jesus came back to Jesus and all prayed. The miracle was the disciples believed Jesus’ promise, he will send the Holy Spirit. All things happened on Pentecost day like a miracle. Can it happen today? God is still working, and Jesus is still with us and among us. Furthermore, we are here, who believe in God and Jesus’ promise. What else do we need for a miracle? Yes, we need prayers. God allows us to use prayer as a tool to request the miracle. Samuel said that failing to pray sins against the Lord (1 Samuel 12:23). Let us pray for our church, our community, our country, and the world. Let us pray only in faith. The miracle is happening already among us. The things we are overcoming during COVID-19, and how we are able to reopen the church are the miracles. We, who couldn’t gather together in one place, gather together this morning for worshiping God. The miracle of Pentecost is beginning among us.
When Jesus healed the sick, Jesus said to them, “your faith has healed you.” Jesus didn’t say, “I healed you.” But he said, “Your faith had healed you” when he healed the blind, and when He healed the bleeding woman for thirty-eight years (Mark5:34; Mark10:52). Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23). For believers, nothing is impossible.
Open your hearts, minds and doors so that you may see God’s miracles. Thanks be to God.