and all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “what does this mean?” but others mocking said, “they are filled with new wine.” [acts 2:12-13]


amazement, perplexion, or mockery


this activity of the Holy Spirit giving believers the ability to speak in other tongues was without precedent. this was not foretold or expected! this is a shocking example of the Holy Spirit declaring His presence in a new way, doing a new thing! and in response, some are amazed, some perplexed, and some mock the speakers. it is interesting to see some stirred to faith, some recognizing the miracle and responding in fear, and others denying what their eyes see and ears hear—all in response to the same event! i would argue this should be the world’s typical response to believers.

what in your life would amaze unbelievers? what change in your life could amaze unbelievers? how about radical forgiveness of those who have no right to be forgiven? how about radical generosity to those who will never be able to pay it back? how about a radical refusal to gossip about those who hurt you and others? The Holy Spirit is powerful, and his work will amaze, perplex, and/or lead others to mock you. is your life lacking in the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work, or are you hiding from others the work He’s doing out of shame that you needed Him to work at all?

you are the light of the world. a city set on a hill cannot be hidden. nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. in the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (matthew 5:14-16)


if you think your life is lacking the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work, do not hesitate to ask for His help! He longs to restore marriages, break the bonds of habitual sin, and stir a passion to see the lost saved! the Holy Spirit points to the work of Christ, so asking for help bringing glory to Jesus by changing your life is a prayer He deeply desires to answer!

if you find yourself hiding the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work from others, ask God for the courage to let your light shine! some will see it and be amazed and stirred to faith, some will be perplexed and fearful, and others will mock you—just as they responded to Christ before you! do not fear those who can mock you; fear the one who has the power over all creation!

Lord, do your work in us, that the world may marvel and give you glory. give us courage to let our light shine when others revile us, and teach us to rejoice when they do so! we are your servants: use us for Your glory!


~ stephen hall