God’s Word for the World

Read: Acts 2:1-13

How is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? (v. 8)

My first Bible was a black leather edition with the words of Jesus in red. I got it when I “graduated” from fourth grade Sunday school. I held it as a treasured possession. Do you remember your first Bible? Five decades on, I own a dozen different Bibles and multiple Bible apps on my phone. It’s an embarrassment of riches that most North American Christians can relate to. We have such easy access to God’s Word that we may take it for granted.

The crowd at Pentecost had no expectation to hear God’s Word in their own language. The Jewish Scriptures were read only in Hebrew. To hear the “mighty works of God” in their own language “amazed and perplexed” them (vv. 11-12). The message of Jesus in the language of their heart brought over three thousand to faith. The gospel is meant to be shared in the tongue of a person’s heart. Jesus spoke Aramaic, the common street language. Paul spoke Greek for his Roman audience. Around heaven’s throne will be people from every language (Rev. 7:9).

Today, there are more than one billion people living without a Bible in the language they can best understand. Two thousand people groups don’t have even one verse they can understand. Imagine the joy they’ll have when they receive their first Bible! As we read our Bibles, may each of us treasure deeply the gift of Scripture in our language, and pray for the many still waiting.

As you pray, thank God for your copy of the Bible.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series The Gift of God's Word