The 120 believers in the upper room experienced firsthand the Pentecostal wonders that we will remember this Sunday. The color red splashed throughout the sanctuary and candles burning remind us of the tongues of fire. Scripture read in different languages reminds us that the good news was heard in many dialects. We will remember the day, but the 120 experienced it. Heard it. Saw it. Lived it.
Pre-Pentecost the group wouldn’t have impressed a class of freshman Intro to the Bible students. No one was particularly noteworthy. All had recently failed Jesus.
They weren’t particularly courageous. The 120 men and women were hiding behind locked doors when the Holy Spirit showed up.
They weren’t evangelistic. Not one person is recorded to have become a Christian in the time between the Resurrection and Pentecost. Not one.
They didn’t display great leadership skills. The only leadership decision they had was to replace Judas, and it could be argued that they choose in a poor manner (casting lots) and they made a poor choice (Matthias is never mentioned again after his lucky number was called).
The one thing they had (that we are lacking?) was obedience. Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem and that is exactly what they did. They waited and prayed. I wonder if we obeyed Jesus more if we would see similar results? There are plenty of conferences, sermons and lessons on being bold, evangelistic and displaying Christian leadership in order to change the world (all the things lacking by the pre-Pentecost, upper room group), but maybe to see a Pentecost we simply need to be more obedient. Maybe what’s needed for the Pentecostal power to impact our world is a few men and women who will simply and emphatically say “Yes” to Jesus.
I am praying for another Pentecost like movement of God and I’m praying that it would begin with our collective and resounding “YES, Lord, yes! I will go where you want me to go and I will do what you want me to do.”