Act 1:12-14 “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”
After Jesus’ ascension and the admonition from the two men who appeared in white apparel (Acts 1:9-11), the disciples left the Mount of Olives and returned to Jerusalem. The phrase “sabbath day’s journey” does not necessarily indicate that this occurred on a sabbath day. According to scholars, a sabbath day’s journey was a unit of measure consisting of two thousand cubits (about a half mile). The Jews taught that this was as far as a person could travel on the sabbath day without violating the law to do no work.
When the disciples returned to Jerusalem, they remained together in an upper room. To arrive in an upper room, it is evident that one must go up. In the scripture, the idea of going up is not so much about a direction as it is about a state of being. The disciples had just received Jesus’ instruction to them and witnessed His ascension into the clouds of glory: certainly, their hearts rose above the sorrows and doubts of the previous days.
Immediately prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter had denied knowing Him (Luke 22:54-60). After His resurrection, Thomas had declared that he would not believe He was alive unless he touched the imprint of the nails in Jesus’ hands and put his hand into the wound in His side (John 20:24-25). Eight days after Jesus had appeared to them all, they followed Peter back to his fishing boat (John 21:3). Yet, after being blessed to behold the glory of the Lord, they were together again, waiting on the Lord, in an upper room.
We have witnessed this same thing in our lives today. Sometimes our doubts and fears overtake us, and we turn aside. Yet, in His great love and mercy, Jesus comes in the person of the Holy Ghost. He instructs us from His word and allows us to behold a measure of His glory. Doubt and fear and things that may have separated us as brethren fall away, and we are in an upper room of peace and fellowship.
David penned “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Psa 133:1).” This was the experience they shared in that upper room while waiting on the Lord. We share this same experience today when we find ourselves of one mind to be steadfast in worship and petitioning God that we might be blessed to serve Him. This is certainly a higher state than anything the world has to offer us.
May God bless us to dwell in that upper room in unity as we daily wait on the Lord for His leadership and grace!