Then returned they to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.…
This assembly was marked by —
I. SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD. The work was unworldly, and therefore separation was necessary. This separation was —
1. Local. Worldly business was not likely to come to the "upper room," as there were no attractions for buyers and sellers. Every Church should have a place of meeting set apart for its own use.
2. Mental. No worldly-minded man .could have anything in common with their mental state. They were waiting for the bestowal of what no outsider had ever seen or heard. Does this mental distinction exist to-day?
3. Moral. They had given themselves up to be directed by Jesus. Such renunciation marks all true Christians. It cannot co-exist with the pride and self-sufficiency which mark unregenerate men.
II. UNITY. The separation would not have answered its purpose without this. All present —
1. Recognised one Head. Attachment to a chief often unites men of varying gifts, tastes, and ambitions. So high and low, educated and illiterate, etc., are united in Christ. The light of the sun illumines planets of different magnitudes in various orbits, and .each reflects the light of the ruling orb. So Christ is the centre of the Christian system, binds each member of the system to Himself, and freely sheds His light on all. Discord in a Church is therefore unchristian.
2. Had oneness of spirit. They all stood in the same relation to Christ, agreed in the exercises to which they were now devoted, and had grace to love one another. This oneness has often appeared where personal elements have been of very diverse kinds. Such unity in diversity is one of the beautiful effects of Christianity.
3. Were of one purpose — viz., to know, experience, and do the Divine will. For this end they conferred, waited, and prayed. In the abolition of slavery men of opposite opinions, etc., were united by a common purpose. Such union will ever be shown where men aim at Christian ends.
III. CONFIDENT EXPECTATION. They persevered in the work to which they had given themselves. They had strong faith in Him whose words had brought and now kept them together. When that faith was tried by delay it bore the test. Continuance in prayer would increase the sense of power at the throne of grace; and this would intensify the longing for the promised blessing. This confident expectation ought to appear in all Christian assemblies, for there are Divine promises yet to be fulfilled.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.