If I were to ask you what the greatest miracle of Pentecost is, what comes to mind? The sound coming from heaven as of a rushing, mighty wind? Probably not so much. The tongues appearing to be fire that sat upon each of the disciples on that Pentecost morning? It’s likely more of us think of that miraculous sign since it happened only on that special Day. Many may think of how the apostles (whose mother-tongue was Aramaic) were enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit to speak in the different languages of the people assembled around them that day. We know that wondrous miracle impressed those who heard them. They declared, “We hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11). In a single moment the Holy Spirit broke the language barrier between Jews and the rest of the world. Pentecost also authenticated the apostles’ message as being from God and carried the gospel forward to the Gentiles. However, even this is not the greatest miracle of that first Pentecost day.
Consider this miracle: “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41). What a great miracle! Indeed, this is not just a single miracle, for three thousand miracles happened on that one day! Peter and the apostles proclaimed the gospel of the remission of sins and promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit worked the miracle of faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior in each one of those hearts that day, bringing life, spiritual and eternal, to three thousand souls!
This particular miracle of Pentecost continues yet today! The record of that first Pentecost event concludes with this divinely inspired comment: “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). As the call of the gospel went out into the world, eventually it came to our ears, and the Spirit worked a miracle in our hearts, turning our cold and stony hearts to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26-27). We were led to repent and believe the gospel. We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we confess with lips and heart that Jesus is the Savior who has redeemed all mankind from sin and death.
Here we must recognize our own weakness and how important it is for us to continue to pray for the Spirit’s blessing and power. It is tempting to question the power of the Spirit working through the Word and instead give credit to programs or entertaining gimmicks that appeal to our human nature. But remember that it is a miracle of God the Holy Spirit when anyone comes to faith, and that happens only through the message of the gospel that is preached. And so let us do what the Spirit led the disciples to do—speak the truth of God’s Word with boldness and confidence.
The Pentecost miracle is continuing throughout the world whenever and wherever the gospel is proclaimed, and it continues among us also: the Lord keeps on adding to the church (the assembly of saints) daily those who are being saved. “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” Acts 2:41