Acts 2:12

ESV And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
NIV Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
NASB And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?'
CSB They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
NLT They stood there amazed and perplexed. 'What can this mean?' they asked each other.
KJV And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
NKJV So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

What does Acts 2:12 mean?

About 900,000 Jews have travelled to Jerusalem from around the eastern Mediterranean Sea and modern-day Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. A crowd of them have stumbled upon about 120 Galileans speaking the travelers' native languages— not just Greek, the universal language of the Roman Empire, or Aramaic, the trade language of the Middle East, but the regional dialects. Even stranger, the speakers all have Galilean accents (Acts 2:5–11).

Acts 2:12–13 is one of many passages that covers the two extreme reactions that people have to God. When God speaks, some people hear His voice, and some hear thunder (John 12:28–29). Some dismiss Jesus as being controlled by Satan (Mark 3:22), and some declare Him to be the Savior that God promised (Mark 8:29). In this case, some in the crowd see Jesus' followers speaking their languages and stand in wonder; others judge they are just drunk (Acts 2:13).

Jesus-followers will experience this as we tell others about Jesus. Jesus says that unbelievers do not reject us, they reject Him (Luke 10:16). Jesus knows who He has chosen (John 13:18) and those who are His will respond to Him (John 10:4). The Bible does not tell us to make converts, or to accomplish some quota of followers. It tells us to make and train disciples (Matthew 28:19–20), be His witnesses (Acts 1:8), and preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2). It is the Holy Spirit that convicts unbelievers of sin (John 16:8–11) and gives spiritual growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). Our job is simply to spread the news (Romans 10:14–15).
What is the Gospel?
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