Monday, June 1, 2009

Christ's Wisdom Displayed at Pentecost

An excerpt from my sermon yesterday:

Now Jesus established His kingdom in the hearts of those thousands gathered in Jerusalem on that Pentecost with the purpose that that kingdom should be spread throughout the world in the hearts of men everywhere. And as Jesus displayed His reign in the Pentecost event, He also displayed his wisdom in the circumstances of it – which He had engineered. In that this was to be the beginning of a world-wide spread of His kingdom, we see the practical wisdom of Jesus in setting things up so that this Pentecost would have its desired world-wide effect.

First, note the timing of the event. There was a distinct, symbolic timing to Pentecost. Pentecost was essentially a harvest celebration. The word pentecost is Greek for the number 50. The day was the fiftieth day after from the first Sunday after Passover and the first day of the wheat harvest. There was no better time in the Jewish calendar, as given in the law of Moses, for the harvest of the gospel age to begin. Peter’s sermon was the first stoke of the scythe in this harvest of love and salvation.

So we see Jesus’ wisdom in the timing of the event, Next, we see his wisdom in the practical circumstance of Pentecost. The law of Moses stated that the people were to assemble in Jerusalem for this feast. Due to the scattering of the Jewish people throughout the Roman empire, the result was that, at Pentecost, there were representatives of the Jewish people from all the provinces of Rome and beyond in the city on that day. These people already had made their plans for when they would be going back home. See the wisdom of God in this! Christ’s intention was for the news of His work and exaltation to go throughout the world and on this day, and the few days to follow, he equips thousands of messengers, who are all ready to start on the journey, to go throughout the Empire with the news of salvation in His name.

It is easy for us to think that the Church spread throughout the known world of that time by the efforts of the twelve apostles and Paul as they journeyed throughout the empire and beyond. But it did not. The growth of the kingdom of Christ did not begin with a small spark but an explosion. Thousands of people left Jerusalem within days of Pentecost to go throughout the world taking the name of salvation in Jesus’ name with them. Jesus knows how to accomplish the mission of his church! He has all the practical wisdom of how to get the job done, and we see it here displayed at Pentecost.

Indeed, consider another way His wisdom is displayed at Pentecost. Consider the practical means by which he gathers the pilgrims together to hear Peter. If it takes a miracle to do what needs to be done, God provides the miracle. God gives the disciples the ability to gain the hearing of the pilgrims by putting his praises on their lips in the native languages of the pilgrims. The pilgrims were absolutely flabbergasted! They were more than ready to hear Peter’s explanation of what they were witnessing.

We thus see Christ, in his masterful wisdom, engineering a world-changing event if there ever was one: unmistakably miraculous events combined with the proclamation of a world-changing message, entrusted to thousands of people zealous for the religion of their fathers, scattered throughout the Roman Empire. How brilliant!

Brothers and sisters, this same Jesus is our king today. Let us have great confidence in His wisdom to lead us in our duties as we seek to fulfill our mission to the world. Let us pray for His engineering of our circumstances that we may have those open doors to tell others of the wonders He has done for us, that, in lifting up Christ through word and deed, He may draw all men to Himself.


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