Revival Stories

Revival at Pentecost of 30 A.D.

Pentecost was a Jewish feast meant to be celebrated on the 50th day after Passover. It’s a time of thanksgiving to God for the start of the summer wheat harvest, when people present offerings and their first fruits. More generally, it was an opportunity to thank God for the great blessings and gifts He had given His people.

For the first Christians, the Pentecost after Jesus died and was resurrected would be unforgettable. It would take place after one of the darkest times of human history. The Jewish leaders had falsely accused and framed Jesus. The Roman rulers had condemned an innocent man to face torture and unimaginable suffering through crucifixion. Many of the people had turned their backs on Jesus during this time, and even His own disciples fled or denied Him. After His resurrection, Jesus told them to go back and to wait for His gift of the Spirit. He didn’t say how long. And so they waited and they prayed in the upper room.

From the book of Acts 2:1-13, 36-41

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Peter gave a powerful message and ended with this :

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

There were many unique and powerful aspects of that first Pentecost, but it also demonstrated what can happen when God brings revival. Christians are emboldened and empowered, and their hearts are quickened. Those around them become keenly aware of God’s presence and their own sin, leading to repentance and a turning back to the Lord. Revival breaks out naturally as the Holy Spirit is poured out on a people. At Pentecost today, we give thanks to God for the great blessing and gift of the Holy Spirit that will usher in the tremendous harvest that He desires.


1. How would you contrast the mood and behavior of the Christians in the upper room before and after the Holy Spirit was poured out on them? How would you say the non-believers’ perception towards the Gospel changed after this?

2. That first Pentecost post-resurrection had its own unique flavor and manifestations, as all revivals do. I’m pretty sure everyone there was surprised by what the Spirit did that day, but it did get the attention of the people. Take some time to imagine: What surprising behavior might arise in the church when revival sweeps through our city one day? Why?

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