January 16
‘For anyone, who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 14:2
Bible reading: Acts 19:1-7 (Go to the Bible passage)
One may meet people who know a lot about God and it delights them greatly, and yet something is lacking…
Paul must have experienced something likewise, when he met these twelve men from Ephesus. Hence his question, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ The answer was short and clear, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit’. These people were privileged compared to many of us, for we have heard of the Holy Spirit and - consequently - assume we have received Him, without acknowledging that we may lack something.
These men had converted, and they had chosen to be baptized in John’s baptism of repentance of their sins. From that moment they were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah that would - surely - not take long anymore. They were full of expectation, they talked about it to anyone who cared to listen, including Paul. But Paul knew more! He told them about Jesus and then they had themselves baptized again, but this time in a baptism very different from John’s. In this baptism they confessed their faith that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah Who was to come.
That faith changed their lives. No more hesitating. No, from now on they were engaged in His coming Kingdom. Now Paul and these men understood each other much better. But something was still lacking… Paul laid his hands on these eager men - blessing them - and then the Holy Spirit came on them, enabling them to speak the language of the coming Kingdom. ‘...and they spoke in tongues and prophesied’.
And as it happened to them, it may happen to us. Then the heavens burst open and we speak with and about God in a new way!
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