5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Devotion by Laurie Spencer
In my office we have a Crown of Thorns plant. So many people ask what it is because it isn’t a common plant to see. The flowers are pink and orange and the leaves thick, wide and green. But the inch thick, stiff stems are lethal. The thorns are 1/2-inch-long and cover each stem from the base all the way up to the tips.
When I have a moment to sit quietly near this plant and contemplate Jesus’ final walk and the searing pain he felt, my thoughts drift to how that horrifying experience affected his disciples.
So now we arrive at Acts. By the time this part of the story is told proof has been given and they have been infused with a new strength of devotion unlike anything they had believed possible. They receive the power of the Holy Spirit and are gifted with the ability to communicate in any language necessary to get the message out.
The euphoria of this moment contrasts drastically with the pain of losing their Master.
All these thoughts sit with me, as I sit quietly with the Crown of Thorns.