Being with Jesus changes us
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
Something happens when we are with Jesus. More specifically, something happens to us. We are changed when we spend time with Jesus. We are healed. Our perspective and priorities change. We develop a likeness to Him, a resemblance that others notice. God begins to work in us the change promised in Philippians 1:7, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Acts 4:13 tells us that boldness is one of the changes that results from being with Jesus.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John…”
The boldness of the apostles had already been demonstrated in Acts chapters 2 and 3, where we see the apostles preach Jesus to the crowds of Pentecost. Their fearless message of faith in Jesus caused thousands to believe and become followers of Christ. Oh, to be part of a scene like that today!
Acts 4 shows Peter and John addressing the most powerful religious and political figures in the Jewish state, the Sanhedrin. Yet they were bold, fearless in their defense of Jesus as the reason the lame man had been healed. This boldness was undeniable, and it caught the attention of the Sanhedrin.
Acts 4:7-12 reads:
They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Remember, Peter and John had been arrested and spent the night in prison because of the men to whom they were now speaking. These men could cause them great harm, so they had reason to be timid. But they were not timid; they were remarkably courageous!
Did the religious leaders see a resemblance to Jesus in Peter and John? Did their boldness remind them of Jesus when He overturned the tables of the money changers? Were they reminded of the time He referred to a group of Pharisees as a “brood of vipers” for their religiosity without relationship? I believe they did, and it startled them.
Being with Jesus is key to the change we all desire in our lives. Spend time with Jesus in prayer, in study, and in service, giving God the space to work, changing us into the image of His Son (2 Corinthians 3:18). “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
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