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Summary: Their obedience is remarkable, because they could have returned to their homes; but instead, they went into Jerusalem where more of their enemies lived than in any other place. They were obedient to their Lord, who told them to return to Jerusalem.

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May 20, 2013

By: Tom Lowe

Lesson I.B.1: The Apostles and Others Gathered in Jerusalem

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1.12-14

Acts 1.12-14 (KJV)

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Commentary

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

Then returned they unto Jerusalem

In Luke 24:52, we are told “they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” The act of worship referred to here is probably when they gazed intently as their Lord ascended into the clouds until He disappeared from their view. That experience, and then the angels telling them that He will return in the same manner must have filled them with joy. “They” were the eleven disciples (the twelve minus Judas); along with Mary, the mother of Jesus, the brothers of Jesus (James and Jude), the women who followed Jesus, and others; who when added up amounted to about 120—“And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)” (Acts 1:15; KJV).

Their obedience is remarkable, because they could have returned to their homes; but instead, they went into Jerusalem where more of their enemies lived than in any other place. They were obedient to their Lord, who told them to return to Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, and that is exactly what they did. Jesus’ orders were fresh on their minds, since they had just heard Him say it; therefore, they actually did what Jesus told them to do even though He was no longer physically present with them.

from the mount called Olivet,

“The mount called Olivet,” was on the east side of Jerusalem and about two miles distant, and Christ had often gone there, and from there he ascended to heaven. This is the hill which in 1 Kings 11:7 is said to be "before Jerusalem"—“Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem…”(1 Kings 11.7;KJV); and in Zechariah 14:4 it is expressly said to be "before Jerusalem on the east"—“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east…” (Zech 14:4; KJV); and when Jesus sat down there to converse with His disciples, he is said to be over against the temple—“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately” (Mark 13:3; KJV). It got its name from the huge number of olive trees which grew there. The Jewish writers sometimes called it, "the Mount of Oil" because of the olive oil, which was made out of the olives that grew upon the trees. It is said, that in an old edition of the Latin version of this text it is called "the Mountain of Three Lights"; and this reason is given for it, “because on the west side it was enlightened in the night by the continual fire of the altar in the temple; and on the east side it had the first beams of the sun before the city was enlightened with them; and it produced plenty of olives, by which the light is maintained in the lamps.” Josephus relates that in the earthquake in the times of Uzziah, half part of this mountain, which was to the west, was divided from it, and was rolled four furlongs to the eastern part of it, so that the ways and king's gardens were stopped up.


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