May 25, 2018

“Been With Jesus”

Acts 4:1-22

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

—  Acts 4:13

After a night in jail, Peter and John are brought before the religious rulers and teachers of the law. The apostles’ teaching to the crowds has led to more people coming to faith in Jesus. But now Peter and John are standing before the religious leaders who oppose Jesus.

These religious leaders thought they were done with Jesus when they managed to get him crucified. Now they want to do what they can to silence Peter and John, so they threaten them. But they also know that a great healing has taken place. Everyone who goes to the temple knows the man who was lame—and now he is healed. How can this be?

The religious leaders do not believe the healing of the lame man is linked to Jesus, but they do link the courage of Peter and John to Jesus. The rulers see Peter and John as ordinary, unschooled people. They are fishermen. Peter and John are used to the Sea of Galilee, not the Sanhedrin council of rulers.

What does it mean that the rulers took note that Peter and John “had been with Jesus”? What did that have to do with their courage? The apostles now knew that everything Jesus had said and promised was true. And they trusted that Jesus, by his Spirit, was still with them. So in everything they were doing it was clear that Peter, John, and the community of believers in Christ were people who were “with Jesus.”

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: lead us, protect us, and empower us so that we are faithful witnesses of being with you! Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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