All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues [languages] as the Spirit enabled them.
The Spirit Breaks Barriers
Have you ever experienced a language barrier? I was traveling in a foreign country and found myself at a loss for words. I knew what I wanted to say. I even tried as I pulled up the language learning app on my phone. But either a poor translation or mispronounced words made the native speaker laugh instead of understand. The barrier still remained.
Those language barriers have existed ever since tower of Babel. Early in human history, recorded in the Bible, everyone spoke a common language. However, when they united around a sinful purpose, God said, “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other” (Genesis 11:7). And the barrier has remained to this day.
Those language barriers are also a reminder of a bigger barrier that once stood between us and God. That barrier didn’t cause embarrassment, or confusion. Sin once separated us from God eternally.
But the Spirit of God breaks those barriers. He broke the barrier of language on Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, when he sent the Holy Sprit. All of a sudden, the language barriers were torn down by the Spirit. Jesus’ disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they were able to speak in other languages. Travels from all over the world heard the good news of Jesus in their very own language. And the barrier came down.
By the written Word of God, which has been translated into your language and many more, the Spirit is at work to tear down that barrier that once stood between you and God. By the good news of Jesus that you hear and read in your own language the Spirit creates and strengthens faith. In your very own language, you hear the good news that no barrier remains between you and God because Jesus paid your price. Jesus was crucified for you! Jesus was raised to life for you! Sin no longer separates you from God. It has been taken away.
Come, Holy Spirit, and tear down the barriers I have created. By your Word, strengthen my faith to know the love of God and complete forgiveness I have through Christ. Amen.