Summary: Can the world, and other Christians, tell that you have been with Jesus?
Have You Been With Jesus?
by Pastor Jim May
Acts 4:13, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
It had been almost two months since the crucifixion of Jesus but in the eyes of the world, Jesus’ birth, life and death on the cross, was no more than a momentary blip on the screen of time. He was just another religious fanatic who had come and gone. Pilate washed his hands of him. The Pharisees were glad to get rid of him. The people no longer cared because he was not the political Messiah they were hoping for.
But when Peter and John came to town, it did not take long for the people to see that there was something different about these two disciples. They weren’t just religious fanatics or insurrectionists against the Romans, or rebellious Christians fighting against the religious establishment. People sat up and took notice that there was something real about them. The Bible says that even the doubters and sinners had to take note that Peter and John “had been with Jesus."
When you got around these men you could sense the love of Jesus, who had given his life for the sin of the world; you could see the radiance of Jesus, as the glory of his power shone through; and you could feel the very presence of Jesus, as the Holy Ghost moved upon the heart of men.
Let’s look at some of the characteristics of someone who has been with Jesus!
The first characteristic is that of Compassion
Acts 3:1-8; "Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God."
Peter and John had traveled this path many times before. I wonder how many times they had passed by this same lame man and never noticed him. They were too consumed with their own plans and their own concerns to see the need of their fellowman. But now, something had happened! Now they had been with the Lord and the power of the Holy Ghost had come over them and filled them with a greater love for people. God had interrupted their plans and changed their plans to fulfill the calling of God upon their lives and now they had compassion and took the time to show this man the love of God.
You cannot help but be compassionate with people when you have been with Jesus, because Jesus was a man of compassion. We aren’t Peter and John and maybe we haven’t walked face to face with Jesus as they did. No, we have more than they did. We have salvation by the Blood of the Lamb, and we have been baptized in the power of the Holy Ghost, and the Love of God has constrained us to do His work.
That’s why the Holy Ghost impressed upon Sis. Gretchen to pass out food baskets and toys to some of the families in our area. God’s love is a love that is ever reaching out to those in need. He wants to supply their need and He wants to use you and I, as much as possible, to be His hands and feet in this world.
I read the story one time of an orphanage that had a superintendent who would always pray with his children. When he would ask the blessing, he would bow his head with all the little children in this orphanage, and he would say, "Lord Jesus, we thank you for the food that you have provided. We want you to come and be our honored guest at this meal."
Well one little fellow had heard that prayer so many times, he finally said, "Why doesn’t Jesus ever come? You always invite Him to be our guest. Will He ever come?"