October 17, 2023

Sound of a Violent Wind

Acts 2:1-4, 36-41

A sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and...they…were filled with the Holy Spirit. Those who accepted his message were baptized. . .

—  Acts 2:2, 41

The Holy Spirit is the main character in the book of Acts—and in the growth of the church. And through the Spirit-powered witness of his followers, Jesus said, the gospel will spread from Jerusalem (the city), to Judea and Samaria (the region), “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

In Acts 2 we see how that work of the Holy Spirit began. “A sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven,” and Jesus’ apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit. As we have noted earlier, the Spirit of God and his mighty acts are often associated with wind. And the “sound . . . of a violent wind” echoes the power of the “strong wind” God used to make a pathway for his people through the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21). What’s more, as John the Baptist had prophesied, the work of Jesus would result in people being baptized “with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11)—and in Acts 2, as the Holy Spirit filled Jesus’ apostles, “what seemed to be tongues of fire . . . came to rest on each of them.” So on Pentecost, the people of God, followers of Jesus, were renewed through a wind (Spirit), fire, and water. The wind of the Holy Spirit rushed on the apostles, and fire alighted on them—and later that day 3,000 people came to faith in Jesus and were baptized (Acts 2:41).

Lord and Savior, fill us with your Holy Spirit, and help us as we try to stay “in step” with the Spirit’s work in the world today. Amen.

About the author — Kristopher Walhof

Kristopher Walhof is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church who lives with his wife and seven-year-old son in rural Kenya. He teaches Bible and theology courses to theological students seeking ordination in the Africa Inland Church (AIC) denomination.

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