What They Recognized

“As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.

“On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:1-13

Peter was a big personality who often spoke without thinking- impulsive, involved, wanting to be the first to know. He’d walked with Jesus since called to become a fisher of men, and now that he’d received His Spirit at Pentecost, he had a fresh, unique boldness and vision. And it was noticed. Not that he was something special, but that he was different– unusually and divinely anointed. He had been with Jesus. (Mark 1:17)

There is something distinct and wondrous about the presence of Jesus. Much, actually. He changes us, fills us, and spills over. He shines. He softens our rough edges, and empowers our choices and words. He is both attractive and repulsive, fragrant to those who believe and offensive to those who reject. But either way, the Holy Spirit of Jesus is sensed and cannot be denied or squelched. (Acts 4:17-18; 2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

What about my countenance, my convictions, my measure of boldness, my words and actions, would cause others to realize I’ve been with Jesus? The way I love, my peace of heart, my quiet confidence, my compassion? Am I spending adequate time and attention with Jesus to make a difference? If not, what will I adjust in my schedule, habits, or screen time to make it happen?

Lord, may I spend such time with You that I bear Your imprint, and cannot help but speak and live out what I’ve seen and heard. May others recognize, be astonished by, and praise, You. (Acts 4:19-21)

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