After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), and Judas (son of James). They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
(Acts of the Apostles 1:9-14 NLT)
Here we see Jesus ascending into heaven from earth at the end of His earthly ministry. Two male angels in white garments proclaimed that Jesus would return in the same manner they saw Him ascend. Following His departure, the disciples immediately returned to the upper room in Jerusalem to obey Jesus command (Luke 24:49) to abide there until they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The names of the remaining eleven disciples are listed to account for their attendance. Judas Iscariot had hung himself following his betrayal of Jesus (see Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:17 and 18). His name is not mentioned here. However, another important person is Mary, Jesus’ mother. Although the names aren't given, it also indicates the presence of Jesus brothers. Yes, Jesus had brothers (see Matthew 13:55 and Mark 3:31). Joseph and Mary had children following Jesus birth. Joseph and Mary didn't even have sexual relations until after Jesus birth (see Matthew 1:25). The importance of the fact that they were in attendance on the day of Pentecost cannot be overstated. This tells us that they were His disciples, were obedient to His command, and significantly changes the way we understand Mary. Often, Mary is immortalized and enshrined as the mother of God. Yes, she gave birth to Jesus (God in human flesh), but she, herself, was not deity. Mary gave birth to Jesus physically. Jesus gave birth to her spiritually, as he does all who trust in Him. She had to be baptized with the Holy Spirit just like everyone else. Just as Jesus was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit, so He is conceived in us. Jesus lives in, and through us, by the power of the Holy Spirit (see John 14:17-19; 15:26; 16:12-16).
Rev. Curtis Norris