Isaiah cried, “Lord, You are our Father and we all are Your people! Reveal Yourself and touch us once more” (see Isaiah 64:8-9).
Centuries later, the same cry was heard among another remnant — the 120 believers who had gathered in a rented room in Jerusalem. It was a time much like Isaiah’s day — a period of great religious observance, with multitudes flocking to the temple from all over Israel. There was grand pageantry, and the synagogues teemed with religious people. Yet the people were going through the motions, merely observing the rituals.
You may wonder, “How could this be? This was the generation that had sat under the fiery preaching of John the Baptist. A generation that had beheld God in flesh — Jesus — walking among them, working miracles.” Yet they were lifeless, dry, empty.
Jesus Himself had wept over these highly religious people. He cried, “You have the very appearance of godliness, and you go about doing charitable things. But inside you’re dead.” They weren’t stirred by the signs and wonders Jesus performed. They weren’t moved when He cast out demons, freeing people who had suffered demonic bondage for years. And in the end, they rejected Him, turning away from God’s offer of grace.
Yet the Lord never gave up on His people. Jesus prophesied to His 120 disciples, “I am going to rain down my Spirit on all flesh.” To prepare them for this, He instructed, “Go to Jerusalem and tarry there until I come.”
Christ’s message to His followers was essentially this: “When you’re together, fire is going to fall on the whole gathering, and your hearts will melt. My supernatural fire is going to remove all mountains — in your neighbors, your fellow Jews and in all nations. Hardness and unbelief will dissolve, with thousands saved in one hour. The very mention of My name will convict and convince multitudes.”