The Upper Room is perhaps best known as the location of Jesus’ last supper with His disciples. But something else happened in the Upper Room just fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, something Jesus told them to expect and to wait for. To find out what happened, take a look at this short video below. Then read on to find out what God wants you to do with all the things that you’ve learned about Him!
So what happened at the Upper Room? That’s where the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. God’s Spirit flowed into the people gathered there, causing them to praise God in all kinds of languages. As a result of this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, over 3,000 people put their faith in Christ.
It wasn’t something that Peter and the other disciples could have done on their own, but God used their voices to reach out to people, who came from all over the world at the time, so that they could hear all that Christ had done for them.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared again to the disciples and over five hundred others throughout Jerusalem for a period of forty days. On one of these occasions, Jesus said:
“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. … You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:4-5, 8).
So when Jesus went up into heaven, the disciples went back to the room where they were staying. Luke called it an “upper room” (Acts 1:13, KJV), just as he had done when describing the place where they had eaten their last supper (see Luke 22:12). It was here, apparently, that:
“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1:14).
About ten days later, on the fiftieth day since Jesus rose from the dead (and the day of Pentecost, which comes from the Greek word for “fifty”), God sent His Holy Spirit, just as Jesus promised:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1).
As they spoke, others began to hear them praising God in their own languages, people from all different parts of the world who had come to Jerusalem for the festivals. Some were amazed, but others thought they had just been drinking too much wine.
Peter, who had denied Jesus just a few weeks earlier, stood up with the other disciples, and spoke to the crowd:
“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!” (Acts 2:14-15).
He went on to say that this was the work of the Holy Spirit, whom the prophet Joel said would be poured out on the people in the last days.
Peter spoke about Jesus and how, even though Jesus had done many signs and wonders and miracles in their presence, they still handed Him over to be crucified. After telling them at length from the Scriptures who Jesus was and what they had done to Him, they were all cut to the heart. They cried out to Peter and the other apostles:
“Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day (Acts 2:37-41).
It’s a powerful story on many fronts:
- What Jesus said would happen did happen,
- The same Peter who denied Jesus earlier now proclaimed His name to thousands,
- The Spirit came in a way that was both astounding and perplexing to those who saw it,
- About 3,000 put their faith in Christ and were baptized in a single day.
And that was just the beginning. In the days that followed, the disciples continued to do more wonders and miraculous signs:
“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47b).
Soon, those who followed Christ were taking the gospel beyond Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth, just as Jesus said they would.
What does this all mean to you? Well, if you’ve never put your faith in Christ, do it today, just like those who heard the message on the day of Pentecost did! And if you’ve already put your faith in Christ, tell others about it so they can put their faith in Christ, too!
When we were in Israel, we had a local Israeli guide who took us from place to place and taught us many things about the places that we were seeing. On the final day, our guide said, “Today, my job is finished. Tomorrow, yours begins. Your job is to go back and tell others what you have learned.”
Isn’t that the way God loves to work? God could, if He wanted to, put some kind of cosmic loud speakers in the sky, telling everyone that He exists, that He loves them, and that He wants them to leave their sins and come back into a relationship with Him. (And in many ways, He has already done this—see Psalm 19:1-4 or Romans 1:18-20.)
But God’s preferred method is to use the voices of people—yours and mine—to tell others about His love for them, and to share with them everything they have heard and learned and known to be true.
As we near the end of this devotional tour of Israel, I wanted to remind you of why God wanted to teach you all that you’ve learned about Him so far. First of all, it’s for you, so that You will know Him better and fall in love with Him more deeply. But secondly, it’s for you to share with others, so they may know Him better and fall in love with Him more deeply, too.
As our Israeli guide said to us, I want to say to you: “Today, my job ends. Tomorrow, yours begins!” If you’re not sure how to share what you’ve learned with others, here are a few ideas.
1) Ask God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon you in ways that you may have never known before, so that You can proclaim His name to those around you. How can this help? The same way it helped Peter, who went from being afraid to even tell anyone that He knew Christ to being able to proclaim His name before thousands.
2) Study your Bible deeply, every day, so that you may know with confidence the truth of what you believe. Find a good study Bible, with footnotes and commentary if possible, to help you grow in the knowledge of all that God wants to say to you. Remember, too, that it’s not just a time to study, but a time to spend with the One who created you, who knows you best, and who loves you more than anyone else in the world.
3) Start sharing what you’ve learned so far about Christ. Whether it’s sharing a simple comment or two on someone’s Facebook page about God’s love for them, or taking an evangelism class at a local church so that you can sharpen what and how you share with others, look for and take the opportunities God gives you to let others know about your own relationship with Him so that they can grow in their relationship with Him.
4) Share the messages in this book with others! Point them to our website at http://www.theranch.org, or give them copies of this book! These resources were created to help bring the Bible to life for as many as people as possible.
While I loved going to Israel so that I could learn more about Christ for myself, I also loved going to Israel so that I could share more about Christ with others. My prayer is that you will do the same.
Whether you go to Israel in person, or experience it through the Bible and books like these, I pray that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit to the point of overflowing, so that whatever God pours out onto you will be flow out onto to others, bringing joy and life to you, to them, and to the God who created us all.
Father, thank You for pouring out Your Holy Spirit on those who gathered together for prayer in Jerusalem. We pray that You will pour out Your Holy Spirit on us again today so that we may lead others into a deeper relationship with You as well. Give us the wisdom to do it, the courage to do it, and the way to do it. Then help us take the steps of faith we need to take to proclaim Your name throughout the earth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.