“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
The disciples were anxious to prove their critics and detractors wrong. The resurrection of Jesus vindicated them. It opened up a new chapter in their lives. “It’s going to be awesome from here on!” They surmised. Huddled around Jesus, they asked, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” – Acts 1:8. “Not yet!” Jesus essentially replied to them. Puzzled, the apostles looked at each other. But “stay here in Jerusalem until you have been clothed with power from on high,” Jesus assured them.
In Jerusalem, the apostles rented a cavernous dining hall called, “Cenacle” which is from the Latin word, “ceno” meaning, “I dine.” In Greek, this place is called “upper room.” – Acts 1:13. For ten days, the disciples numbering about one hundred and twenty, prayed and fellowshipped in seclusion. Led by Peter, James and John, the apostles deliberated who was going to replace Judas Iscariot. It was a tough decision to make. They chose Matthias.
Then came the day of Pentecost. Also called as the Feast of the Harvest, Pentecost was like Israel’s fiesta. Jews from all over the world and converts to Judaism trooped to the city of David to celebrate one of Israel’s most important feasts – Acts 2:1.
The water clock or “clepsydra” as the Romans called their clock, showed it was closed to nine o clock in the morning of Pentecost. The disciples were huddled in the upper room when out of nowhere a violent wind came rushing inside, knocking down candles and potteries. Then, all of a sudden, they saw what seemed to be “tongues of fire” appearing on each of them. The apostles surely have never seen anything like it before nor felt something so weird about them. When one of them tried to speak, he found out that he was speaking a language that he never knew, much less, spoken before.
For the first time ever, as they were moved and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the disciples spoke in various known tongues of the ancient world — Arabic, Latin, Persian, African and even, Greek — to the amazement of everyone – Acts 2:5-12. From that day on, the disciples have never been the same again. They were transformed. And soon, Jerusalem itself, was transformed. It became the center of ancient Christianity.
Jerusalem is always regarded as the place of conception. The city where Christianity was born. But we can also regard Jerusalem as the place of preparation. The city where Christianity was empowered. It was crucial to note this. For places provide space and the proper environs for God to be able to properly deal with an individual. For Moses, it was the desert wilderness of Midian. For Joseph, it was a deep and empty well. For David, it was the valley of Elah. Where ever God brings you to be fully prepared and equipped for this life and ministry, that’s your Jerusalem. Stay and don’t be impatient as God deals with you. Wait as God’s power becomes yours.
Ultimately, Jerusalem became the place of operation for the apostles. They changed the city and turned it upside down – Acts 17:6 Soon, you will also turn your own Jerusalem upside down. This humble place of your beginnings will be transformed into a hub of your great accomplishments!
From the Series:
From Golgotha To Glory: A 10-Day Lenten Week Devotional
By Bishop Jonathan S. Ferriol
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