Today’s podcast is another word of encouragement that follows along the thoughts I began unpacking in the last podcast — or at least the last one I did alone without a guest — Come Up Out of Babylon and Build God’s Temple. You don’t have to listen to that one first before jumping straight in today, but it might help.
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Recenly Shaun Wissmann, who I’ve had on the podcast a few times over the years, shared in our central Oikos WHY we are family on mission. The week before that, Mark Burgess started our series on what is family on mission and Shaun was following up this week.
I gotta tell you, it was exquisite. In fact, Shaun had a take on Acts chapter two that I’m going to do my best to repeat and if I leave anything out I can come back to this idea in a future podcast.
But if we look what is family on mission, it doesn’t mean specifically that a whole family goes to a foreign nation and you’re on a mission. It comes from the idea that the Body of Christ is a family. That we are an extended family on a mission together, to seek and save that which is lost. To build God’s temple. To prepare His Bride, and all these other mysterious images the Bible uses to describe the Body of Christ or ‘the Church.’
If we look at the majority of Jesus’ time on the earth, He spent time with His twelve disciples, taught them how to cast out demons, how to do ministry, but also they ate together. They spent a lot of time in people’s homes.
Did you get that?
Now why would they spend a lot of time eating dinner, and being in various people’s homes? Because that’s what families do.
They went to the temple and did “religious” things alright, but they also, probably more so, spent time together doing all sorts of informal things together like extended families do.
So did you notice that after Jesus was raised from the dead, He went back to spending time with the disciples all over again? Like, now that their eyes were open in a way that was different than when He was with them before His death, He ate with them, they spent time together for those forty days before he ascended on high and then they waited for power that He had promised them before they left Jerusalem to go spread the kingdom of their King?
Do you remember what they were doing?
Steve, they were praying.
OK, right. Duh. They probably were praying, but we get that from earlier in chapter 1 of Acts. Chapter 2 does’t actually or specifically say they were praying, as though that were the magic landing spot for the Holy Ghost helicopter at that moment.
Did you also notice where they were together, whether they were praying or eating breakfast together? I got news for your head, it wasn’t the upper room of a temple. It was the upper room of someone’s house.
From Acts 2:1 we know that some of Jesus’ followers were gathered together in the same place. Luke does not specifically say where the disciples were gathered in this particular passage. However, it seems likely that Luke intended his readers to understand the disciples were still meeting in the same place where they had been meeting. Luke says that 120 of Jesus’ disciples had been meeting together in an upper room during the time between his ascension into heaven and the day of Pentecost in Acts 1:12-14.
Must’ve been a pretty big house to hold 120 people!
I asked Stephen Crosby about this over Skype, and he answered:
Yes. Highly likely. Highly likely a wealthy home also to be able to accommodate so many. First floor was usually reserved for animals, second for “living” and roof tops for sleeping (cooler) at least in lower class homes. To have a second floor that could accommodate 120+, whoever it was had to have some ka-ching.
Also, Luke seems to assume his readers would know which upper room he’s talking about. One possibility is the same upper room where Jesus ate with his disciples just before he was crucified (Luke 22:7-12). Since the disciples continued to have access to this upper room of someone’s home after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, it’s possible that the home belonged to one of Jesus’ disciples, but we don’t know for sure. Some speculate this was Mark’s home. Who knows?
Since it says in Acts 2:1 says they were all together in one place, Luke is pointing back to the 120 disciples that he had mentioned earlier. This sounds like a larger sized missional community almost, but that’s just my opinion.
We know the 11 remaining apostles were among those that were gathered this day. (Acts 1:13) We also know that Jesus’ mother, brothers, and sisters (extended family) were among them. (Acts 1:14) There were at least 2 but probably more people who had followed Jesus since he was baptized by John the Baptist. (Acts 1:21)
Luke does not specifically tell us what they were doing at that moment when the Holy Spirit was sent. However, he did tell us previously that they had been praying together. (Acts 1:14) We also know that they had been eating together when Jesus was with them. (Acts 1:6)
So, what happened? When these people were gathered together in the upper room – perhaps eating and praying together – God sent the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus had told them was going to happen. (Acts 1:4-5)
Then the Holy Ghost fell, Peter preached what would be his “first” sermon after getting baptized in the Holy Ghost, and then significant multiplication happened.
For brevity’s sake today, I’m going to focus on that more later in an upcoming podcast, but I want to change gears and talk about us here in Los Cedros and something God has shown us.
After looking at the Day of Pentecost through a different lens than you might have viewed it through before, we then segue into discipleship through something found in Song of Solomon 1:16-17:
“Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. Our couch is green; the beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine.”
When we are intimate with God in the secret place, we produce fruit, and in turn reproduce and multiply. When we abide in Him, out of necessity we will be helping Him build HIS house and not our own.
Come along for the ride on this week’s episode of the Fire On Your Head podcast as we explore this even further.
Here’s the whole episode of The Holy Spirit Flows Through Intimacy and Community