As I write this it is not many days to our celebration of the day of Pentecost, I want to look at what happened before that momentous day.
Waiting: Jesus tell his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they have been empowered by the Holy Spirit, he tells them,
4 And while he* was with them,* he commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what was promised by the Father, which you heard about from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit ⌊not many days from now⌋.”
6 So when* they had come together, they began asking* him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 But he said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when* the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth.” 9 And after he* had said these things, while* they were watching, he was taken up, and a cloud received him from their sight. 10 And as they were staring into the sky while* he was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood by them 11 who also said, “Men ⌊of Galilee⌋, why do you stand there looking into the sky? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven like this will come back in the same way you saw him departing into heaven!”
here we see that the disciples were still confused, they did not know what to expect, his answers to their questions don’t really shed much light on what is going to happen. The disciples were still expecting Jesus to deal with the Romans , they still did not grasp that he had defeated a greater enemy, Satan through his death and resurrection. They were still looking for an earthly kingdom whereas their commission was to seek the kingdom of God. Because of all of this they were dealt with by the Lord in a very gentle way, he knew that spending time seeking God was the only answer.
I believe the disciples were probably confused as to why the had to wait,yet by now they realised that their gracious master had a good reason for everything he told them to do. In times when we have to wait we often grow impatient, we often want to get on with what we feel that God has told us to do. The times of waiting can be very productive times as God deals with us and prepares us for all that has for us to do.
Sometimes we can make waiting on the Lord an excuse for inaction and this is wrong, we need an openness to the Lord’s guidance at all times, when hesays go,we must go but when he says wait,we must wait.
They were not idle: The time in the upper room was a time of seeking the Lord for whatever was coming, they knew that they were going to be empowered for service of their saviour but they did not know how this was to be. As they sought the Lord they became more united in spirit.
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain that is called Olive Grove which is near Jerusalem, ⌊a Sabbath day’s journey away⌋. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upstairs room where they were staying—Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James. 14 All these were busily engaged with one mind in prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.
The scripture clearly tells us that they were of one mind, they wanted to receive the promise of the Father, they wanted to know the presence of Jesus and they had been taught by Jesus that this could only come about when the Holy Spirit came. Prayer is a precious activity in God’s sight,he likes it when his children talk to him. As a child I was taught that God is a prayer hearing-prayer answering God, this is vital for us to comprehend.
As they sought God’s face they were shown that there needed to be a replacement for Judas and here we see that they appointed Matthias after they had sought the Lord. The church was preparing for mission even though they did not understand all the implications of what the Lord was showing them. by the time of the appointment of Matthias, the number of disciples gathering together had increased to 120.
They were prepared: By the time we come to Acts 2, there is a group of disciples who are prepared to serve the Lord and who are open to his empowering. They didn’t know when the Holy Spirit would come but they wanted him to come in the Lord’s time and way.
And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in the same place. 2 And suddenly a sound like a violent rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues like fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability to speak out.
Notice that the Holy Spirit comes upon them suddenly, they were all filled with joy unspeakable and the overflow of joy led to them proclaiming the gospel. We too need a fresh empowering by the Holy Spirit so that we can reach a lost and needy world with the joyful news of the gospel. We need a fresh touch from heaven,this being the case we need to seek the Lord to fill us afresh with the Holy Spirit. Are you willing to wait for the empowering presence of God? The Lord’s timing is always perfect he knows how to use us in his service.
COME HOLY SPIRIT,COME