Eldad and Medad
A little known passage from Numbers shares about the power of the Holy Spirit given to prophets Eldad and Medad, which sheds some light on the powerful story of Pentecost. What Luke (the author of Acts) reports is not so much the birth of the church but rather the Holy Spirit’s empowerment of all the believers to bear witness to the “ends of the earth,” as was promised in Acts 1:8. The dramatic descent of the Spirit at Pentecost is immediately followed by Peter’s bold preaching about the events of Jesus’s death and resurrection. The empowering Holy Spirit has descended, thereby instigating Peter’s courageous witness. How else do you explain that Peter, who cowered and denied when Jesus was arrested, is now speaking up for the risen Christ before a disbelieving mob? And what a fruitful response to Peter’s speech! Thousands are converted!