12 The apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives. It is just over half a mile from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Here is a list of those who were there. Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James 14 They all came together regularly to pray. The women joined them too. So did Jesus’ mother Mary and his brothers.
Jesus has just ascended into heaven so now the disciples head back to Jerusalem to wait (v4) & pray together. They are all named in this passage so there is no doubt that they were all “in this for good” (v14Msge). Women were also included in this time of waiting & praying along with Jesus’ mother & brothers. There was no exclusion.
There are 2 things that stand out for me, the 1st is that the disciples were all together. They had all seen & heard so much with Jesus & there were certainly different reactions for all of them in the garden, the trial, the cross & I think there was yet another choice here now to individually stay. This shows me that God wants me to come to him freely, it is our choice, it is our will & no matter what, He will not override it. Our heart is to love & follow Him freely.
The 2nd thing is that Jesus’ mother and brothers (there are 4 mentioned in Mk 6:3) are also in this group. Regardless of the close blood relationship with Jesus, they also had to make their individual choices to believe in Him. John 7:5 specifically says that Jesus’ brothers did not believe in Him at that time. A change has happened in their hearts as they are now counted as followers & believers in Jesus, waiting & praying together with the disciples. Again, God wants our hearts to come to believe in Jesus individually, regardless of our family background.
Lord Jesus, I am so glad that you want our hearts to come, believe & worship you freely, not because of what our family does or an experience we’ve had or because a law tells us to do so, but because we see you as our personal Lord, saviour, creator, friend and lover of our souls. Amen.
Written by Suzie Hodgson