Day 4: The Influence of Jesus

Acts 1:12-14 :

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they had come in, they went up into the upper room, where they were staying; that is Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer and supplication, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

This is a very interesting passage because it reveals the group of people that came together because of the influence of Jesus. Up to this point, the special power from the Holy Spirit had not been given yet. These believers were there entirely because of the influence of Jesus’ earthly ministry. We can learn something about Jesus by looking at these people.

First of all, we find that all of the remaining disciples stayed together. Even though Jesus had ascended to the Father, His influence kept them together. In fact, it appears that they were more “together” than they had ever been and this is quite an accomplishment. Simon was a Zealot which meant that he originally was with a group of people who were willing to kill Romans and Roman sympathizers. Matthew was a Roman sympathizer because he used to collect taxes from his own Jewish brothers. Peter had openly denied Jesus and the others knew it; remember they used to argue about who was the greatest. This group doesn’t seem like they would naturally stay together for long, but that’s not all.

The women were included. This was probably not typical of the culture. Even Jesus’ mother was involved with the disciples now. If you remember, she was the one who tried to get Jesus to get away from the crowds at one point. Now the big one… Jesus’ physical brothers were now involved. One thing I know is that if a man is a religious fake, usually the brothers know, especially if you call yourself God. These guys did appear to have trouble with Jesus’ teachings earlier during His life but now they were obviously sold that Jesus really was God! This is something that a skeptic should pay close attention to.

Notice the depth of involvement with each other. They “with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer and supplication!” It would be nice if married couples would do this today and here we see zealots and tax collectors praying together. May we submit to God to give us the power by His Holy Spirit to revive this kind of closeness in each of us as we wait on the Lord.