5.21.13 Amazed and Perplexed!

Lord, send your Spirit to guide and direct my thoughts as I meditate on your word today. Acts 2:1-8,12-13 (NIV)

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? - We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

I don’t know about you, but I am amazed or perplexed by something every day.  It is rare however, when I experience something that is both amazing and perplexing.  The God fearing Jews in Jerusalem on Pentecost experienced both. They were perplexed by the blowing of a violent wind and by a bunch of Galileans speaking in languages they had not been taught. They were amazed as they heard the disciples speaking in ‘tongues’ and declaring the wonders of God in languages they could understand. It is not surprising that they asked the question, “What does this mean?” That certainly would have been my question.

Peter, having been filled with the Holy Spirit, seizes the opportunity to provide an explanation.  He points them to the prophecy of Joel and helps them see that the answer to their question can be found in the Scriptures and in the work of Christ. We subsequently learn that Peter’s response to their question, his proclamation of the Gospel and his call to repentance, leads to the conversion of three thousand people.  God used the amazing and perplexing events of Pentecost and the obedience of Peter to produce a wonderful harvest.

When I find myself perplexed or amazed or both, I find that asking the question ‘What does this mean?’ is extremely helpful. I have learned that in moments of amazement and perplexity God wants me to turn to Him so that He can minister to me by His word and Spirit just as he did through Peter to those who were gathered in Jerusalem many years ago. In my walk I have learned that perplexity and amazement are often the means that God uses to get me to the place where He wants me to be.  Is God trying to get your attention today through amazement or perplexity or both?

Lord, help us to see that the many things that amaze us and perplex us are often the means through which you are helping us to focus our attention on You and on Your love for us in Jesus. Amen