Where is the Upper Room and why does it matter?

The exact location of the Upper Room, mentioned in the New Testament, is not known nor is it known whether the scripture speaks of the same location in each instance. Today in Jerusalem you can visit the site traditionally held to be the "Upper Room" but it is unlikely that it preserves the actual place where Jesus ate with his disciples or the place to which the disciples went after Jesus' ascension on Mt. Olivet. Acts 1:12 says, "then they (the Apostles) returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying."

Theories abound on where in Jerusalem this room might have been, some point to the lower city west of the Temple, others south of the Temple where the chief priests lived, while still other indications point to a place both near the Temple and King David's Tomb.

From scripture we do know that all of the events from Acts 1:13 through 2:41 occurred in proximity of that "upper room." Later, on the day of Pentecost it says: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." Acts 2:1

Although we don't know for certain the room's location in Jerusalem, we do know the "Upper Room" experiences of Jesus' disciples transformed them forever as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. And while it would be cool to know the exact location the church began - we do know some very spiritual events occurred nearby the traditional site of the Upper Room in Jerusalem and even better we know Jesus; He's much closer than that.

Shalom Almog is the owner of Coral Tours, which provides travel and guide services in the Holy Land.

Filed under religion, history, israel, holy land, judaism, christianity, travel, religion, history, Beliefs and Practices

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