Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
At the Western Wall, I found it interesting (and frustrating) that the men were allowed on one side and women were only allowed on another. There was some of commotion going on in the men’s side of things and I wanted to see too. Our guide explained to my husband that he was witnessing a famous rabbi reading the Torah while being hounded by the devout Jewish men.
Luke names those in attendance in the upper room. Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon, Judas the son or brother of James (commentators disagree). These men were with the women, Jesus’ mother Mary, and His brothers.
I find this list interesting as Luke mentions that women were there along with Mary. There was no segregation here. How wonderful that this was not a male only prayer meeting! How precious that Mary and other godly women were there.
The other precious fact to me is that Jesus’ brothers were there. Just imagine growing up with the Son of God. It couldn’t have been easy. In their younger years, they didn’t believe in Jesus as the Messiah (John 7:5). I have to wonder if they had nicknames for him. What can I say? I work with a lot of boys. Someday, I will love to hear Jesus’ brothers’ stories of realizing that their earthly Brother was truly their Messiah, the Son of God.
And there they were in the upper room, emotionally exhausted, and praying with one mind. No one had an agenda. No one had a division. No one had issues. They were all focused in their prayer.
As women, do we take for granted the fact that God is so good and gracious to us? We hear things of other countries and customs and yet we forget to be thankful that God has allowed us freedoms that most the world does not know. We have the opportunity to stand with other brothers in Christ and focus in prayer. But do we?
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. August 2018. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.