The Upstairs Room

Those few hours in the upper room with YAHSHUA made a difference in the lives of the disciples that lasted the rest of their lives. That was just before YAHSHUA was to be unfairly tried and crucified, although they did not have a clue to what was going to happen. In that solemn moment, before the Passover feast began, YAHSHUA knew that the time had come for Him to leave the world and return to the Father. And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree (John 13:1). It was at that moment that He took off His garments and taking a towel, He fastened it around His waist, then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded (13:4-5). Compelled by His deep love, there, He taught a lesson of humility, not by words only, but by doing it Himself. That action toward His disciples connected them to Him as His sharers in His ministry. We cannot fathom the depth of humbleness one could have felt to experience the Holy God, the Creator washing the very dirt part of one’s body. Like many of us Peter thought so, and refused to have Him wash his feet. He said to Him, You shall never wash my feet! YAHSHUA answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me (John 13:6-8). At YAHSHUA’S stern rebuke, he consented to it. YAHSHUA said to him, You do no understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on. Humility is the key lesson to be learned here. Not long before this, the disciples were discussing who of them were going to be greater in heaven, at the time when YAHSHUA’S revealed to them His coming ordeal. He, perceiving the thoughts of their hearts, took a little child and put him at His side and told them, Whoever receives and accepts and welcomes this child in My name and for My sake receives and accepts and welcomes Me; and whoever so receives Me so also receives Him Who sent Me; for he who is least and lowliest among you all-he is [the one who is truly] great (Luke 9:47-48).

YAHSHUA’S action of washing the disciples’ feet goes beyond what they could understand; reason why Peter refused, and as well as many of us would have the same attitude, for not comprehending the meaning. YAHSHUA’S last hours in that upper room were purposely set aside to teach His twelve disciples, who were to be the Holy Spirit’s voice in proclaiming the good news of the Gospel; those who were going to build YAHSHUA’S church, starting from Jerusalem. From Jerusalem to the world with Love, love of YAHSHUA. Humility and love were the lessons in YAHSHUA’S washing of the disciples’ feet. By stooping low as one’s feet to wash them is certainly love expressed from the heart to the visible world. Paul writes of YAHSHUA’S action of love and humbleness: Let this same attitude and purpose and mind be in you which was in Christ YAHSHUA; Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God, did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, but stripped Himself, so as to assume the guise of a servant in that He became like men and was born a human being and after  He had appeared in human for, He abased and humble Himself and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! (Phil. 2:5-8).

It was in the upper room where YAHSHUA uttered His priestly prayer; not only for His disciples, but for all those who were going to accept Him. It is a beautiful prayer, confirming all His words of comfort and promise uttered earlier. In chapter 13th of John YAHSHUA washes the disciples feet, making them to be a part with Him in ministry; in chapter 14th, He comforts them with the promise of going to prepare a place for them and His return for them; chapter 15th, He cleanses them and establishes them in the Vine, Who is He Himself; He establishes their position of friends and encourages them by reminding them of their coming persecution; in chapter 16th He promises the Holy Spirit to abide in them and minister to them; in chapter 17th we have YAHSHUA’S priestly prayer not only for His disciples, but for all who would accept Him through the message from them. In spite of His heart being heavy, as He contemplated the extent of His sufferings ahead of Him, He put that aside and transferred His sorrow to comfort and to encourage His disciples. The beautiful thing about YAHSHUA’S words in the upper room given to His disciples in private, has echoed through the ages, reaching the world, bringing hope and salvation to all. “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me; in My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you; and when I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:1-3); and in the world you will have tribulation and trials and destress and frustration; but be of good cheer! For I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). These are just a few of His words to encourage you.

The church of Christ had its beginning in the upper room, where the Holy Spirit descended to on Pentecost Day. They had fully assembled together in one place when suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression (Acts 2: 1-4). As all experienced the coming of the Holy Spirit to earth, it was evident to all without a doubt that He was the One YAHSHUA promised them in the upper room. That was life transforming experience never to leave their hearts. His Holy Spirit had come down that day to stay in the lives of all of those who have accepted YAHSHUA’S gift of life. YAHSHUA’S promise was that through His coming Holy Spirit He was going to abide in us until the time of the end, when He will take us out of this world. Do you have Him in you, my friend?

The upper room is the place of quietness and peace; a place where we must be still to listen to the voice of our Lord through His Holy Spirit; a place where encouragement lifts us and upholds us through our stormy days. Although not everyone has an upper room, let your closet be your upper room, as YAHSHUA suggested. Leaving your phone behind and everything else that has nothing to do with your spiritual journey, apply your ears and your heart to hear God’s still voice, the same voice that Elijah heard when he was in a cave, distressed and discouraged. Then in your upper room, God will speak to you.


Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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