Former Newsboys lead vocalist Peter Furler describes the performance of the band’s praise song “He Reigns.” The song paints a vivid picture of believers from every tribe and nation coming together to worship God in unity. Furler observed that whenever the Newsboys sang it he could sense the moving of the Holy Spirit in the gathering of believers.
Furler’s description of his experiences with “He Reigns” would likely have resonated with the crowds who converged on Jerusalem at Pentecost. When the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4), things began to happen beyond anyone’s experience. As a result, Jews representing every nation came together in confusion, because each one heard their own language being spoken to make God’s wonders known (vv. 5–6, 11). Peter explained to the crowd that this was in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy in which God said, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people” (v. 17).
This all-inclusive display of God’s awesome power made the crowd receptive to Peter’s declaration of the gospel, leading to three thousand converts that day alone (v. 41). Following this spectacular kickoff, these new believers then returned to their corner of the world, taking the good news with them.
The good news still resounds today—God’s message of hope for all people. As we praise God together, His Spirit moves among us, bringing people of every nation together in wonderful unity. He reigns!
In what ways do you see God’s image in other people? How can you view people from every tribe and nation through the lens of Jesus?
In the span of just eight weeks, the disciples had endured an emotional rollercoaster. Imagine experiencing the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem only to witness His arrest and crucifixion (Matthew 21–26; Mark 11–14; Luke 19–22; John 12–13). Then came His resurrection—irrefutable proof that He is the Messiah—followed by His departure from this earth. Given such turmoil, we might forgive the disciples for misunderstanding Christ’s instructions about establishing His kingdom. They expected a political solution to their problems—Israel’s liberation from Roman oppression and their rightful place in the world as God’s chosen people (Acts 1:6). But Jesus had something better in mind. He promised them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth” (v. 8). Acts 2 shows how the Holy Spirit ignited that promise.