“All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify Thy name. For Thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone.” (Psalm 86:9-10) Every type.
People the world over experience God in different ways. Even those in your local or home church have things going on in their lives in which God is working in ways that are foreign to your understanding. His ways. His means.
Jesus speaks to the deep places in the human. It transcends language. It supercedes cultural borders, societal labels, even gender types and roles. We are all human beings with spirits, alive or dead. And this is what Jesus touches on first and foremost.
“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under Heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites (essentially Iran), and the dwellers in Mesopotamia (Iraq), and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia (Asia Minor), in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene (Northern Africa), and strangers of Rome, Jews and Proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” (Acts 2:5-12)
I find it somewhat disconcerting to read this passage and sense the dissonance among the body of Christ in America. And maybe I’m not viewing the situation through the right lens. If I’m not “believ[ing] all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7), then I’m not looking with love. But if there were any country that exemplified the melting pot of Jerusalem (everyone present was there to observe the Jewish festival of Pentecost) in the above passage, it’s America. And I’m not trying to tie this country to prophecy or come across as patriotic. What I am saying is that we, we have an obligation and also the auspices necessary to see this atmosphere come back around in our time. Our place. Look for the opportunities that present themselves (really, it’s God presenting them to you) in your locale. While there may not be a varied cultural ethos where I live, I do so love meeting people from all over the world. The odd individual who hails from Germany, Poland, Australia, Korea, Tunisia, etc. Their attitude is so refreshing to encounter merely because of its difference. They laugh at the foibles inherent in American mores and in turn describe where we are more laid back. Each one, though, created by God and each fulfilling their role in the majestic tapestry that makes up His world.
“He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.” (Ephesians 4:10)
A citizen of the world, Jesus seems to be a busy person. Much has been written and told of visitations from the Lord of Creation—from across the globe. Those who have had personal encounters with Him wherever they may be. He seems to have been constantly on the move during His three-year itinerant ministry. But while He is “set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2), who’s to say that He doesn’t get up now and again to stretch His legs and tour the globe? Food for thought. And just as the gift of tongues was exhibited during Pentecost, it would necessarily be lived through Him as He called and culled from every nation and every tongue, garnering a body of believers that are humble, hungry and seeking the truth. By the way, it’s the Holy Spirit who makes any and all of this possible.
“And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:2, speaking of the Holy Spirit)
The stateside mission field is “white already to harvest” (John 4:35). Jesus speaking of the bumper crop of people who are ready to hear the good news of His Gospel. An ironic statement, too, as the whole point here is that it’s not just about “white” people. Or black. Or any other race. It’s about the human being on a global scale. Every type. Made possible by the life, death and resurrection of just one man. “Who in his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” His stripes, eh? Every stripe.
“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel…” (Mark 16:15)
Your world, wherever that may be.