Session 18: Walking out of the Room (Pentecost)

Walking Out of the Room: Pentecost

Main Text: Acts 2:1-13 New Living Translation (NLT)
2 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
5 At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
7 They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! 9 Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” 12 They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.
13 But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”

Additional Text: Depending on which direction you choose

The Holy Spirit: John 14:16-18, 26, 15:26, 16: 7-8, 16:13-15
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.  But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.  And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.  He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.  All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

Tower of Babel: Genesis 11:1-9
1 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia[a] and settled there.
3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

Peter’s Sermon: Acts 2:14-41
14 Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. 15 These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. 16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—  and they will prophesy. 19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below— blood and fire and clouds of smoke. 20 The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. 21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazareneby doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. 25 King David said this about him: ‘I see that the Lord is always with me.  I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. 26 No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. 27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. 28 You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’
29 “Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. 30 But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. 31 David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.
32 “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. 34 For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand 35 until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”’ 36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.


Opening Activities:

PowerPoint Game:  MadGab

Video: Bruce Almighty newsroom scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSWGRfktwmQ

Set up: Evan (Steve Carrell) has been given Bruce’s dream job as news anchor. Bruce (Jim Carey) has been given the powers of God. Watch as Bruce messes with Evan.

Discus:

  • Imagine you were watching the news, what would you think was going on?
  • Would you have kept watching, or turned the station?

Lesson:

Icebreaker: If you could speak one additional language, what would you choose and why?

 

Review: The Ascension

  • What was the last thing Jesus said to his disciples before heading to heaven?

Acts 1: 4-5, 8 (edited)
Jesus commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Ask:

  • Where were they suppose to go? (Jerusalem)
  • Who were they to wait for? (Holy Spirit)
  • What should be their response? (Witness for Jesus)

 

Read Acts 2:1-13

Discuss Post Resurrection Timetable: There were forty (40) days between Resurrection and Ascension and fifty (50) days between Resurrection and Pentecost. (The Jewish festival was 50 days (penta) after Passover).

  • What do you think  it was like for the disciples those 10 days between the Ascension & Pentecost? (Note:  Jesus never told them that the Holy Spirit would come on  Pentecost, they were just told to wait)

Dramatic Reading:  Read Verses 2-4 (Have your group close their eyes as you dramatically read these verses… maybe even twice)

Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

Ask:

  • Imagine you were there, what aspect of the Holy Spirits coming would stand out to you? (loud sound, mighty wind, tongues of fire, speaking of other languages)
  • What would you be feeling? (Excited, confused, scared, nervous, etc)
  • How do you think the disciples felt?
  • How might this compare to their experiences they had with Jesus?

Read Verse 5-13
5 At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.|
7 They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! 9 Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” 12 They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.
13 But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”

Ask:

  • Why were there so many people in Jerusalem at this time? (Passover and Pentecost)
  • Where were they from? (It is just fun to get people to try and say the names of these places – vs 9-11)
  • What does that say about God’s timing? (God’s timing in perfect. It was no accident or coincidence that people were there)
  • Why might this be significant? (They can take the message of Jesus back to where they live)
  • All of a sudden the disciples are able to speak in other languages. Why is that important?
  • Why would it be helpful for a person to hear about Jesus in their native language?
  • Why did some people think they were drunk? Why would that be ridiculous?

3 Options: 

Here are Three direction in which to take the lesson, choose one, or multiple depending on time and interest). They do not have to be done in any specific order.

 

Option 1: The Holy Spirit

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, and on Pentecost the holy Spirit came.

  • Why do you think it was important for the Christian movement for the Holy Spirit to come?

At the Last Supper, Jesus spend some time preparing his disciples for the Holy Spirit.

Read: John 14:16-18, 26, 15:26, 16: 7-8, 16:13-15
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.  But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.  And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.  He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.  All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

Ask:

  • What do you think it means that the Holy Spirit is our Advocate? (in Greek it reads Paraclete, which also mean Comforter, or Encourager, or Counselor.
  • Why is it best that Jesus leave?
  • What are some of the things Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would do?
    • Was there any things that you connected with, personally?
    • Where any of these new for you?
    • How does this help you better understand the ways that God works in your life?
    • How does this help you better understand God’s love for you and others?
  • How has the Holy Spirit been your Advocate, Comforter, or Encourager, or Counselor.

 

Option 2: Tower of Babel:

Some say that the Pentecost story is the reversal (or possibly the fulfillment) of the Tower of Babel story.  Read this story and compare it to the story of the Pentecost.

 Read Genesis 11:1-9 (Note: Before this, God had commanded that the people fill the whole earth, yet we see that they blatantly disobey. #classic)
1 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia[a] and settled there.
3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

Ask:

  • What did the people decide to do? Why?
  • What does it say about people’s arrogance?
  • Why was this disobedient to God?
  • Why does God choose to confuse their languages?
  • Why does that put the people in disarray?
  • How does this cause they to (reluctantly) obey God?
  • Why does language separate people? Share experiences of when language interfered with understanding and connection.
  • At Pentecost, all present were able to hear the Gospel in their own language. How does that help with the dissemination of Gods’ message? How does the shared message begin to draw all people back to God?

 

Option 3: Peter’s First Sermon:

Read Acts 2:14-41:
14 Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. 15 These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. 16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—  and they will prophesy. 19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below— blood and fire and clouds of smoke. 20 The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. 21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazareneby doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. 25 King David said this about him: ‘I see that the Lord is always with me.  I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. 26 No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. 27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. 28 You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’
29 “Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. 30 But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. 31 David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.
32 “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. 34 For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand 35 until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”’ 36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.

  • How is Peter’s confidence different now, then when he was a disciple? Why? (The Holy Spirit)
  • Why do you think Peter quotes from Joel 2:28-32, Psalms 16:8-11, and Ps 110:1? How might referencing these passages help convince his audience?
  • What are some of the things Peter says about Jesus? (see verses 22-24, 32-33)
  • How does peter invite the people to respond to what he has said about Jesus? (see verses 38-40)
  • What was the response to Peter’s message that day?

Dramatic Reading: Have someone dramatically read this sermon again while everyone else listens.  Invite them to imagine they are hearing it for the first time. Have them listen for things that they connect with, things that might stir their heart. After the reading, have them sit quietly for a moment before asking people to share what stood out to them.

  • Did any of the sermon deepen your understanding of Jesus?
  • What does this sermon say about the power of Jesus’ story?
  • What does it say about sharing Jesus with confidence?

 

 

PRAYER:

Who are some people that you know that need to hear the message of Jesus? 

Pray specifically for those people, that they will hear Jesus spoken in words they can understand, and that those words would pierce their heart. Continually pray for they, even asking God that he would give you the words to share Jesus with them.