Mixed Reactions (Acts 2:11-13)

“Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” (Acts 2:11–13, AV)

Two people are driving down a four-lane highway. They are driving on the two lanes heading north. The highway is straight, but the speed limit sign states 35 mile per hour. One driver thinks to himself, “This is different. Normally the speed limit is 65, but there must be a reason.” He reduces his speed accordingly.

The other driver moves into the left lane and scoffs thinking. “35 miles per hour! This is stupid. It doesn’t make sense.” He accelerates to 70 mile per hour.

Which driver is wiser, the one who obeys or the scofflaw? So, they go around the next bend and they both see standing water on the road. The driver going 35 has time to slow down to negotiate the hazard. The one going 70 hydroplanes and runs off the road in a seriously fatal accident. Signs are important. Yet, more important is one’s response to them.

Those who were in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost, heard the disciples declaring the excellencies of God in their own foreign languages, ones that the disciples formerly did not know. As discussed in the previous devotion this was a manifestation of the Holy spirit and a major sign to the Jews and proselytes who were there for the feast. The people from the remote nations, had mixed reactions to what they experienced. The Scriptures tell us that they clearly understood that these Galileans were speaking their native languages and were amazed at this.

Yet, here with unmistakable sign of the disciples speaking languages of foreign lands, there is a mixed reaction by the people present. Some wondered what this meant, and others mocked the disciples, saying they were drunk. For whatever reason, some did not acknowledge the reality of this manifestation, while others clearly did. Some heeded the sign and some did not.

This type of response to the manifestation of God should not surprise us. Consider people’s response to the general revelation of God in His creation. Some view the creation and conclude God is the creator of all, while some look at the creation and will deny that God exists. When we proclaim God’s plan of salvation, which is so clear to us, some will receive the message and others will not. When we pray for someone in a difficult situation and we see the answer to that prayer, some will give the glory to God and others will say it was just chance.

The point is this, even with the greatest and clearest evidence for God’s existence, some will believe and some will not. Even with the clearest of gospel presentations, some will believe and some will not. Our call is not to make people believe for only God can change the heart of man. Our call is to sow the seed. We should not allow the results of our witness be the influencing factor of our witness. Whether people receive our witness or not, the influencing factor for our witness is God’s amazing grace. We are to yield to the manifestation of the Spirit in our lives, which will result in our testifying of God’s saving grace and then, trust God for the results.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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