Intimacy with the Lord on the human front reached its zenith in the Upper Room, the scene of the Last Supper of our Lord with His disciples, the night before His crucifixion. Jesus’ final briefing for them to carry on His mission lies exposed for all to read. Like the proverbial “fly on the wall,” we are afforded the opportunity to listen in on this “by invitation only” gathering. The interaction contained herein has captivated Christians for its insights into the inner workings of that first band of disciples who forsook all to follow Christ.
Since Jesus Himself did not write down any of His teachings (that we know of), we completely depend upon the “apostles’ teaching” to convey the true message of the Savior of the world (Acts 2:42). In these few hours together, with the disciples unsuspecting that Jesus would be dead in less than 24 hours, they (and we) learn about serving one another, God’s shepherd heart, the seeds of His betrayal, the hope for the future, the Holy Spirit, abiding in Christ, warning about persecution, the promise of peace, the resurrection and the intimate prayer of Jesus with the Father.
In the Upper Room, Christians have found great comfort and guidance. We learn about the heart of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; He really does care for those who follow Him. He washed their feet for the here and now, and held before them a vision of eternal life and a heavenly home for the future. Although not specifically mentioned, we know from the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) that the Upper Room experience included what Christians call “The Last Supper,” their final meal together before His death.
The most hallowed ground of all comes in chapter 17, in what some have called the Lord’s “High Priestly” prayer. There, we see the most extensive prayer of our Lord and what He requests of His Father. He asks for restoration of His glory; He prays for His immediate followers and for those who will one day come to faith in Him, through their witness.
Yes, this section of Scripture covers much ground that is rich and deep. Unparalleled as literature, unsurpassed in its glory. It has inspired the fascination and imagination of untold numbers of Christians for 2000 years. Using simple language, yet employing lofty concepts, the gospel writer has captured for us the culmination and summation of Christ’s teachings. In beginning this expositional devotional series, our hope is that you the reader would sense God’s invitation to join Him in the Upper Room.
Lord, open our ears and the eyes of our hearts as we enter the Upper Room.