How to Be a Part of Something That Matters

Quick question: What does the Tower of Babel have to do with Pentecost?

The Tower of Babel, Pieter Bruegel

You know the Babel story well. We humans got together to try to build a tower that would reach heaven. So God mixed up our languages making it difficult to work together. In the process, He says something interesting:

If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Genesis 11:6

God designed us “in His image” instilling in us some of his traits: inventiveness, intellect, ingenuity. So when sin entered the world, humans began using their powers for evil. Rather than allow us to totally destroy ourselves, God divided our efforts by hitting us where it hurt most: language.

Fast forward to Pentecost.

Jesus has come, died, raised from the dead. The disciples are hanging out in Jerusalem, not sure what will happen next. All of a sudden the Spirit Jesus promised descends upon them, and they begin to prophesy. People from all over the world understand the apostles in their own language.

Do you see what happened?

God just undid Babel.

How to Do the Impossible

Pride and fear motivated mankind to build that tower (Gen. 11:3-4); they were literally trying to build their way into heaven.

How ridiculous the story seems from our vantage point. They might have built an amazing structure, but eventually they would have just run out of oxygen. Yet this is what we all do at times. We think that if we build a tall enough tower, do enough good deeds, that we can make it to heaven.

God nevertheless gave us the real way; His son Jesus.

And when Jesus left earth He sent the the Holy Spirit, reuniting humans for good.

God established His church as a means to do His work in the absence of His son. This is your chance to be a part of something much larger than yourself, something that matters. Unlike the tower of Babel, which decayed, the work of the church—kingdom work—will not pass away.

God sent His Spirit to dwell in us. He unified us into a body to carry out his work.

Remember what God said: “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”

The Holy Spirit gave us one language—a spiritual language. Therefore nothing is impossible.

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