Sermon – May 23, 2021 – Pentecost

Printable PDF:  5-23-2021 Pentecost Sermon

Pastor Jacobson  †  Pentecost Sermon  †  May 23, 2021  †  John 14:25-27


25“All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

How Has the Holy Spirit Changed You?

Do you like learning? The out loud answer is “YES!!!” “I love learning!”, but the correct answer is shaking your head from side-to-side. Some learning doesn’t make sense. Take spelling. The word “fun” starts with the letter “f” as does the word “fan”, but the word “phone” starts with the letter “p”. That doesn’t make any sense. Some learning is just so much information. Take math. Visualize with me the dreaded multiplication table. Can you see it? It starts easy, 1 X 1 = 1, 1 X 2 =, 2, 1 X 3 = 3, but you keep going and then you get 4 X 4, 8 X 8, 12 X 12 and you’re supposed to get the answer just like that! GROSS!!! Learning, the process of learning isn’t fun, but learning can be fun and is fun when you finally get to that blessed point when you understand what you have been learning, when all of a sudden the light goes on, the hamster turns the wheel and you get it.

  1. Where are you at on His spiritual growth chart?

In our Gospel today from John chapter 14, the disciples of Jesus, were still in that dreaded process of learning. Their learning wasn’t fun. Their learning was troubling. If Jesus had given his disciples a theological examination when they had first met him and if Jesus had given his disciples the same examination three years later, they would have scored poorly both times. The disciples just weren’t getting what Jesus wanted them to get. They didn’t understand.

The disciples didn’t understand why Jesus said he was going away. The disciples didn’t understand why Jesus kept talking about suffering and dying. The disciples didn’t understand why Jesus taught about humility and service, about giving his life as a ransom for many when Jesus had all the power to put the Roman government in their place and all the miracles to put the false church of the Pharisees and Sadducees out of business.

Not understanding for such a long time is tough on students and can be tough on teachers as well, but Jesus was patient with this learning process and Jesus wasn’t offended that another person of the Trinity would receive the credit for the disciples’ understanding. Jesus said, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

For three years, for more than 1,000 days with Jesus the disciples didn’t understand, but on Pentecost, a mere 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples understood. On Pentecost, Peter doesn’t give his opinion. On Pentecost, Peter quoted Scripture and tells us what that weird passage from the prophecy of Joel means. On Pentecost all the apostles were declaring what we heard Luke record in the book of Acts, “the wonders of God.” On Pentecost the apostles covered topics like creation and redemption and sanctification. Who were these men? For three years they had barely grown a spiritual inch but now thousands of people were looking up to them with awe and were hanging on their every word.

Parents and grandparents are often in awe of their children and grandchildren’s physical growth chart. Physical growth happens all the time for children, but it seems like most every child eventually comes across a period of time called a growth spurt, a dramatic increase in height in a short amount of time. We have all seen a growth spurt, and we have all been amazed at it.

Question: What does a spiritual growth spurt look like, a dramatic increase in faith in a short amount of time? Doesn’t a spiritual growth spurt look like these apostles on Pentecost? Quoting the Bible, relating the Bible to life events and talking to others about the great things God has done is all evidence of a spiritual growth spurt. Every believer, thanks to the Holy Spirit, has these abilities, but not every believer is giving evidence of these abilities like the apostles did.

Husbands, fathers, I am on record as saying, my goal is to have every husband and father view themselves as the pastor of their own home. Where are you at on your spiritual growth chart? Are you quoting the Bible? Are you relating biblical truths to your home life? Quoting Scripture like Peter and expressing the wonderful spiritual truths of God’s Word like the other Apostles is a great place for husbands and fathers to be on their spiritual growth chart.

Let’s not just talk about men though. Let’s also talk about mentors and mentees. A mentor can be defined as a person who is a little further along than you are. Mentoring doesn’t just come with age. Mentoring comes with experience. We don’t have an official mentoring program here at Grace, and I don’t think that we will, but if you have completed our Super Saturday instruction in the last five years, or if you have recently been confirmed as an 8th grader, to what more experienced church members are you looking as your examples of what you might become in the years ahead? I could give you names, or I could have you look at the older teenagers and adults who are seen studying the Bible and are seen serving in the church. Keep learning, I know learning is awful, but keep learning and trust Jesus’ promise, “The Holy Spirit WILL teach you all things and WILL remind you of everything I have said to you.”  

  1. Are you an advocate for world peace or Jesus’ peace?

And as Jesus continues in our verses this morning, Jesus makes his purpose clear to why he wants the Holy Spirit to come to his disciples. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” I don’t know if you have ever competed in a beauty pageant. I have not competed to be Mr. Arizona (if there is such a thing), but I have watched Sandra Bullock in her movie Miss Congeniality. If I were ever Mr. Arizona, I can assure you, I would be advocate for world peace. It sure would be nice to have some world peace, but in our lesson today Jesus advocates for a different kind of peace.

The peace Jesus advocates for is peace the apostles enjoyed on Pentecost and throughout their ministry. On Pentecost, critics complained of the apostles, “They have had too much wine,” but instead of succumbing to fight or flight emotions, the apostles kept calm and kept speaking the truth.  Later in their ministries, the critics of the apostles would threaten and physically abuse the apostles and they still kept calm and they still kept speaking the truth. The apostles had peace, not worldly peace. The apostles still had worldly drama, but the apostles had peace because the apostles knew God works for the good of those who love him, and the apostles knew that neither death nor life, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, would be able to separate them from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus their Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have been through some worldly drama. And on this side of heaven, you know our lives will always be filled with one worldly drama after another. The best way to deal with drama is not to wish drama away (as nice as that would be), but to pray for the Holy Spirit. Pray for the peace that passes all human understanding. Pray that the Holy Spirit would help you control your emotions. There is nothing sinful about our emotions. We know Jesus once was sad and wept. We know Jesus got angry and got his point across to those with whom he was angry. But we also know that Jesus in his sadness and in his anger, did not sin. Pray that the Holy Spirit would help you with your reaction to worldly drama to be like Jesus all the time and like Peter and the apostles on Pentecost. The self-control of Jesus, or better-said, the spiritual-control of Jesus has forgiven us of all the times we have emotionally lost our control because of the drama in our lives. So feel what you feel, but don’t give your feelings away to sin. The Apostle Paul once wrote, “In your anger, do not sin.” The same is true for our sadness and all our other emotions. Because God through Jesus is at peace with you, you can be at peace no matter what is going on so the lesson we what to learn today is be at peace and God the Holy Spirit in his time and in his way will help us learn it. Amen.