God’s Blueprints – Pentecost

God’s Blueprint

Pentecost T Genesis 9:1-9, Acts 2:1-21, 36


Blueprints are technical drawings for a building in construction. They’re a written down detailed plan for the overall design of the building. The blueprints have all sorts of different details – floorplans, the width, depth, or height of hallways and rooms. But blueprints are especially helpful when you’re building because they give a complete direction of where you’re going with your building plan. However, deviations away from the blueprint could result in a disjointed disaster and the overall design becomes flawed and it’s not cohesive.

God has a specific blueprint and design for mankind as a whole. We see it all the time in God’s beautiful creation and natural law. He created the world and gives us commands that truly serve for our benefit – so we’d do good to follow His order and design, for it all brings glory to our Father in heaven!

However, sinful man had other blueprints. Mankind’s design was contrary to the Creator’s. Ever since the beginning, mankind’s plan for himself was to ascend to the divine and replace God in glory, honor, and worship. That was the sinful problem at Babel, and it’s the same issue we have today.

After Noah and his family got off the ark, God reiterated to Noah and his sons the command given to Adam and Eve – “Be fruitful and multiply” with the idea that mankind would spread out and fill the earth to exercise his dominion over it all. Babel shows that mankind’s desires and intentions were different than the Lord’s. Instead of spreading out as God commanded, man settled in the plain of Shinar and said, “Come let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens. Let us make a name for ourselves lest we be dispersed over the face of the earth.”

          The pride and arrogance of man’s intention and design came out at Babel. God commanded Noah’s family after the ark landed to spread out and fill the earth into different tribes, and peoples. And what was their response? Let’s not listen to God and not do what brings Him glory. Rather, let’s glorify ourselves. With this new brick technology, let’s build a tower that reaches the heavens so that when we see it, everyone will remember how great WE are. Let’s celebrate OUR accomplishments and OUR blueprints at Babel – not the accomplishments and blueprints of God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

Despite man’s attempt to usurp God’s design and steal glory away from God, God’s will is done! For God came down to earth to confuse the language of the peoples so that they would have no choice but to spread out and fill the earth as God designed, thus, giving God the glory that’s due His name!

Of course, this isn’t the only time when man’s blueprints sought their own glory over God’s. The crucifixion is the biggest example of sinful man’s attempt to replace God in glory and honor. Yet, God uses it for His glory. The Pharisees and the Scribes sought the destruction and removal of Jesus, because He infringed on the status quo of Judaism. He presented Himself as the promised Messiah, and people followed Him instead of the prevailing leaders of Judaism. What were their blueprints? They crucified Jesus so that their honor and glory may be maintained. For they loved to be recognized in the marketplaces due to their acts of piety. Yet, despite man’s sinful plans and deviations away from God’s will, God’s will is done! God’s blueprints prevail!

For what is God’s blueprint? What was His plan and will even from the very beginning of Eden? His plan was always to dwell in peace with mankind. He created us to have communion with Him. But through Adam and Eve, original sin interrupts that plan. To make right what was then wrong, God promised to descend down to earth to fill man.

You see, Man’s attempt to reach the heavens of Babel was all wrong – because the direction of worship, honor, and glory is not that we grasp into the heavens for things that don’t properly belong to us. Rather, God descends down to earth to accomplish His will and plan – to restore a sin-filled people to Himself, that He might have union with them.

That’s exactly what happened on the day of Pentecost! God came down and filled man, that God and man may have communion with each other in a special way – this communion we have in the Spirit is a glimpse of the communion God had with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Not only is there a union with God, but also a union between mankind. At Pentecost, there’s a true unity between every nation, tribe, language, and people, for God unified them in one Gospel language by His Spirit! This was always God’s plan – not that the people of Babel would continually be disjointed from each other. For before Babel, they shared in one language! Yet here at the day of Pentecost, through the Spirit, the people of the earth are able to achieve unity not through their own glories, but through the glories of God given through the Spirit! For the glory of God isn’t just reflected in His covenant relationship with the Jewish people, but now through Christ’s redemption for all mankind, this special covenant relationship is for us all! And no matter the tribe you’re from or no matter the language one speaks, this glory – that God descended down to become a man, to be the sacrifice for sin in the place of man, despite man’s various attempts to grasp for glory and honor and take it away from God – this is the glory of God that is proclaimed in all languages for all people.

Why does all this matter? Why did the Spirit come? How does Pentecost undue man’s blueprints from Babel? Our Gospel reading from John shows the purpose of the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus said, “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” It was in God’s blueprints to send the Holy Spirit to man that He may bring a teaching and remembrance of all God’s teachings – specifically, the teachings about the God-man Jesus, and how God’s glory is manifested on His cross.

And through the Holy Spirit, a true peace and unity with God is achieved – not through the glory of man, but through the glory of God alone. This Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and descends upon man to bring about the communion between God and man that existed from Eden. This Spirit brings a peace to repentant man who recognizes their need for God to come down and fill them, for they realize that their failed attempts to ascend to God and replace Him in glory and honor have only resulted in disunity between God and man.  But through the Spirit, we have a life of peace with God. Through the gifts of Word and Sacrament, and the Holy Spirit working through these gifts, GOD builds something to His glory. Though, it’s certainly not a tower, like Babel. Rather, He builds His church – not with brick and mortar. He builds the church by instilling His Spirit in His people. Given then to do good works, the church of God exhibits God’s glory to the world.

Man wanted to build a tower to replace God. But God wanted to build a church – a people through whom He can dwell with mankind. It’s clear the blueprints of God are far superior to our own – we see that on full display as Babel is fulfilled at Pentecost. This was always God’s plan – to send the Spirit to speak of the glories of God and that all mankind would be taught, brought to remembrance, and have peace through the wonderful works of God accomplished at the cross.



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