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The Day of Pentecost A, May 28, 2023

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The Day of Pentecost A, May 28, 2023

You have a gift that God’s people living under the authority of Moses and the elders did not receive.  You have the gift of the Holy Spirit.  You hear in Moses’ lament (vs. 29) that he desires for all the Lord’s people to possess the Lord’s Spirit.  But they do not (vs. 25).  In fact, receiving the Holy Spirit and the resultant prophecy seems a contentious issue among the people.  So contentious that someone from the camp had to run and “tattle” on the two—Eldad and Medad (vs. 27).  Joshua, Moses’ closest assistant, implored Moses to put a stop to this seemingly unauthorized prophecy (vs. 28).  But Moses would not.  Instead, he questioned whether Joshua was trying to protect him, Moses, from this suspected improper prophesying and he lamented that the Lord had not given his Holy Spirit to all the people (vs. 29).

You, though, have no lament to raise.  You have received the Holy Spirit.  The Lord pours out his Holy Spirit upon you in the Word and water of your baptism.  As you go beneath that baptismal fountain, you receive the fullness of the Lord’s Spirit.  Maybe you prophesy… maybe you don’t.  Whatever gift the Spirit manifests in you, it will be determined by what is necessary for the building up of the body… the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:7).  In the fullness of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon you, you receive faith in Jesus Christ as it is worked by that Spirit through the instruments of Word and Sacrament.  This is God’s grace worked upon you, repenting you from death to life… from disbelief to belief.  This grace of God is sufficient for you (2 Cor. 12:9).  There is no need to covet anything more from the Holy Spirit.  As the body needs (not as you want) the other gifts of the Spirit may be manifest in you… or not.

For the sake of good order, though, the church does heed Joshua’s warning.  If all the Lord’s people would prophesy (preach) at the same time, the cacophony would be unbearable.  So, in this day when the Lord has poured out his Spirit at baptism, the office of public preaching and teaching is reserved for those rightly called (Augsburg Confession 14).

Table Talk:  Discuss appropriate manifestation of the Spirit’s gifts and inappropriate or improper claims to a gift of the Spirit.
Pray:  Heavenly Father, hold me in faith such that God’s grace is sufficient for me, and I need not covet anything more from the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Numbers 11:24-30 English Standard Version

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

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