Question: Why did Jesus not speak in tongues when he was on earth?
Answer: Okay. There are two important reasons. The first one is that speaking in tongues was reserved for the New Testament. It was designed to be a sign of the arrival of the Holy Spirit to begin his full ministry in the earth. Now, you have to understand that even though the Holy Spirit functioned in the Old Testament with certain people—there are people who were anointed by the Holy Spirit; they had the presence of the Holy Spirit with them—his full ministry had not taken off so he functioned behind the Father in the Old Testament. And when Jesus came, Jesus received the Holy Spirit; he was full of the Holy Spirit but the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the earth – the full ministry of the Holy Spirit – had not taken off. And so, speaking in tongues at this time had not been given. It was not given to Jesus nor to the prophets of old, because it was to be a sign of the fulfillment of the prophesy of the Holy Spirit’s coming, and he hadn’t come. Jesus said, “I will pray the father;” he said, “when I go to heaven I will pray the father and He shall send you another comforter, even the spirit of truth” [John 14: 16-17], talking about the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit had not been sent even though Jesus had the Holy Spirit. He said he would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit. So, though he had the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit had not been sent to carry out his full ministry and so when he came to carry out his full ministry, the sign of his full presence in the earth had to be given to us and speaking in tongues is that sign.
Now, I will read to you from 1 Corinthians 14 from verse 21: “In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.  Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. [1 Corinthians 14:21-22]” So you can see that tongues are for a sign to them that believe not so that they would know. What sign is it? It is for them to know that the Holy Spirit has come to begin His ministry, and He is here. So, when you hear someone speaking in tongues, you know that what he said, “In the last day, saith God, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;” [Joel 2: 28]. Now, before that prophesy, the Spirit was only given to certain people. Now, the Holy Spirit has come to the earth and everyone can receive the Holy Spirit, who obeys God. The bible says, “He gives the Holy Spirit to them that obey him. [Acts 5:32]” So, you obey the gospel and you receive the Holy Spirit, and you will speak in other tongues.
The second reason that Jesus didn’t speak in tongues was that speaking in tongues was for the believers’ edification – the believer’s building, self-building of the Christian – and this was not what Jesus needed, because Jesus did not require to build himself. He was the Word made flesh. He didn’t require to build; no, He didn’t need that. Remember something that they said that Jesus knew all things having never learned. They never knew Jesus to go to any school, and yet, He knew all things. Where did He know from? Not from any school. The bible says [that] they knew He never learned, and yet, He had all information because He was the embodiment of all knowledge [John 7:15]. So, he didn’t receive the Holy Spirit for the same reasons that we receive the Holy Spirit. We receive the Holy Spirit because He is the one to make us children of God. But, Jesus was born the son of God and then He needed the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to carry out ministry. And, we need, not only empowerment but first, we have to be made the sons of God. So, there is a difference between us – how we had to receive Holy Spirit and how Jesus had to receive the Holy Spirit.
Now that we have received the Holy Spirit, what accompanies salvation is required of us and that’s why we have to be built continually through that power of the Holy Spirit; that, Jesus did not require. So, we need to speak in tongues. Let me read that to you. 1 Corinthians 14 says, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church” [1 Corinthians 14:4]. This is, specifically, a New Testament blessing. Not even the Prophets of Old had this and there is a reason for that. They were not people who were born of the Spirit; they didn’t require this. They were not made Sons of God in the Old Testament; they couldn’t have, because Jesus had not come. So, always remember Jesus occupied a very different class. You know, He was not an ordinary man; He occupied a very different class. So, though we are born again and we have been brought into His class as to having the same nature with Him, remember Jesus Christ is the son of God and co-equal with God. We are sons of God but not could equal with God.