The Gospel for Everyone

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

To people of the first century, the presence of Parthians in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost would have been significant. Parthia was Rome’s great rival. Located over a massive area (that today includes Iraq and Iran), Parthia controlled key sections of the famed Silk Road.

While battling Parthia in 53 BC, Crassus, the powerful Roman leader, had been killed along with most of his troops. While planning an assault on Parthia, Julius Caesar had been assassinated. In fact, in 40 BC, Parthia controlled Jerusalem and all Judea. But Rome fought back, empowering Herod the Great with the military muscle to turn the tide.

Yet Parthia remained a powerful force. Throughout New Testament times, Judea served as a kind of buffer against the Parthians. Rome did not attack Parthia militarily, but its influence remained strong. No one could forget about them.

For the people gathered in Jerusalem on Pentecost, the Parthians were not some relic of ancient history, but a very real part of their world. Everyone knew about Parthia, and the mere mention of Parthians in Acts 2 would have had profound implications for peoples of that time. They were not just another people group that happened to be in Jerusalem. They came from Rome’s rival for domination of the region.

The fact that these Parthians were in Jerusalem on that special day shows God’s zeal to reach all the nations. It showed that salvation was for everyone, even Parthians. And people could see that the Holy Spirit can be poured out on anyone— even Parthians.

Today, the same God who ruled the ancient world remains sovereign. He still loves the world and He continues to shape history to accomplish His purposes. We can trust in Him.