By Tyler Warner, Calvary Chapel Trussville
In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the first 120 Christians. He came like a mighty rushing wind, and they all began to speak with other tongues. The city of Jerusalem was crowded for the feast of Pentecost, and began to congregate outside the house, trying to understand what that noise was. When the Church came out, the people were astonished because they could hear them praising God in their own languages. The passage tells us that these people were from “every nation under heaven,” stretching from modern-day Iran to Turkey, Egypt, even Europe – and each one heard his own language from someone in the Church who had never learned it.
What was particularly miraculous to these people was that those who spoke were all Galileans. Galilee was the northern region of Judea, separated from Jerusalem and the southern region by the hated Samaritans. It was viewed as a backwater, with strange, embarrassing customs, a fiery temperament and an odd way of speaking. In fact, Peter was identified in the high priest’s house by his accent (Matthew 26:73). It was an insult to be called a Galilean. And yet, here are 120 of them speaking in languages they never learned, praising God.
Around this Christmas season, we read from Isaiah 9: “Unto us a child is born!” That’s verse 6, but back in verse 1 the prophet says this: “In the latter time [God] has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” This passage tells us not only that Christ would be born, but where He would live, and who would receive Him at His coming – Galilee!
As Jesus’ popularity grew, the Pharisees and Sadducees ranted that no prophet could ever come from a place like Galilee (John 7:52). But God saw fit to glorify the little fishing villages and pockets of revolution. He not only chose the twelve Apostles from Galilee, His own Son was called a Galilean.
As they said on Pentecost, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:12) It means that God does not look at things like pedigree or education or wealth or influence when He chooses to honor people. For all of its flaws, the region of Galilee was the one that received Him when He came, and for that they were honored. Rather than working to earn honor for yourself, seek the Lord and let Him honor you. Why chase the applause of people? Tomorrow they’ll be cheering for someone else. But the honor that God gives will never fade away.
Tyler Warner is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Trussville. CCT meets on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, at 5239 Old Springville Rd. Listen to Tyler’s verse-by-verse Bible teaching at CalvaryChapelTrussville.com or Sundays at 2:30 pm on 101.1 FM.