4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the Lord.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
Reflect on the Verses
Take a moment to read through the passage slowly. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through it.
Is there a word or phrase that God is drawing to your attention? What is He saying to you through this passage?
Engage with the Message
1) What stood out to you from the Scripture passages and/or this week's message?
2) In what ways is God challenging you and/or encouraging you through the message?
3) Why do you think Jesus' followers had such a difficult time understanding what God's Kingdom was all about? Why did they constantly go back to hoping for the restoration of Israel to a position of power? In what ways do we struggle with similar tendencies?
4) How do you think the disciples felt when Jesus told them to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit? Why do you think Jesus had them wait rather than getting right to work doing ministry for the Kingdom?
6) Pastor Jeff taught us that Pentecost took place during the Festival of Weeks, when the Jewish people celebrated God's activity throughout their history. What was new and significant about what God did at Pentecost?
7) What is the nature of the power that God gives us through the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit give us power to do? How does the power of the Holy Spirit contrast with worldly power?
8) How have you experienced the Holy Spirit's power and presence in your life?