Wednesday: Preparing for Pentecost

In His reply in Acts 1:7-8, Jesus made no commitment with regard to time. Yet, the natural implication of His words was that right after the Spirit came and the disciples completed their mission, He would return (see also Matt. 24:14). The angels’ remark (Acts 1:11)also did not answer the question as to when the kingdom would come, but it could be understood as if it would not be long.


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This seems to explain why the disciples “returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:52). The promise of Jesus’ second coming at an unspecified time, which should give them extra encouragement for their mission, was taken to mean that the end was close at hand. Further developments in Acts will demonstrate this idea.

Read Acts 1:12-14. Who else was in the upper room, and how did they prepare themselves for the coming of the Spirit?

Having returned from the Mount of Olives, the disciples gathered in the upper guest room (in Latin, cenaculum) of a two-story private house in Jerusalem. Some women followers (Luke 8:1-3Luke 23:49Luke 24:1-12), as well as Jesus’ mother and brothers, were there with the disciples.

Jesus’ brothers (Mark 6:3) were either younger sons of Joseph and Mary (Matt. 1:25Luke 2:7) or, more likely, sons of Joseph’s first marriage, in which case Joseph would be widowed when he took Mary for his wife. Their presence among the disciples comes as a surprise, as they had always been rather skeptical toward Jesus (Mark 3:21John 7:5). Yet, the resurrection and Jesus’ special appearance to James (1 Cor. 15:7) seems to have made all the difference. Later on James apparently would even replace Peter in the leadership of the Christian community (Acts 12:17Acts 15:13Acts 21:18Gal. 2:9Gal. 2:12).

Constantly in prayer (Acts 1:14), and constantly in the temple praising God (Luke 24:53), they all were no doubt involved in a time of confession, repentance, and the putting away of sin. Even if in their minds the coming of the Spirit would immediately lead to Jesus’ return, their spiritual attitude was in full harmony with what was about to happen, as the Holy Spirit comes in response to prayer.

In our daily choices, what are ways we help prepare the way for the work of the Spirit in our lives?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons