Assignment: After reading this passage, go to a nearby charismatic church and watch closely when the speaking in tongues begins. Did you see the tongues of fire over each person's head? Did you? Huh? Did you?
It was Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus was crucified. The believers were all together, moping around as usual.
Oh yes, there were still believers. If you believe in your messiah and your messiah dies, then your messiah must have died for a purpose, right? True believers don't give up. True believers rethink, reinterpret, revise, and retell.
Suddenly from heaven there broke a mighty wind, and the smell filled the entire house where they were sitting. Sloppy tongues, as of spitfire, appeared among them, and a tongue licked each of the believers. They were each filled with a Holy Spirita and they began to speak in other languages, as their spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. These were not ordinary, run of the mill Jews, but super devout international Jews, which means that what happens next must be like, really, really, probably true.
As the believers were babbling, they must have wandered outside because a crowd of Super Jews heard their gibberish and started to gather. The Super Jews were bewildered. Each heard the believers speaking in their own native language.
For the Holy Spirits were universal one-way translators.
Amazed and astonished, the Super Jews asked, "Are not these who are speaking Galileans? Do they not have inbred northern accents, cheap worn out robes, and nappy beards? How is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? We are Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappodocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia. We have Jews from Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrese, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs. Goddammit, we've got Jews from everywhere except that shit hole region called Galilee."
And the Super Jews said, "With a little imagination, we each in our own language can sort of make out their speaking about God's deeds of power."
What exactly it was the believers said about God's deeds of power is not important. That isn't the point. The point is that the Super Jews were all hearing the believers in their own native tongue, which is a legend so strange and unique that it could only have evolved with divine inspiration.
The Super Jews were perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" which is a damn good question. But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine." Still others said, "The Super Jews have been into the new wine as well."
a. Or Holy Opinion