Monday, June 2, 2014

They Had Been With Jesus

"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 4:13

There are so many different things that we can focus on. So many voices call out to us. So many activities demand our time and attention. So many problems stare us in the face. If we are not careful, every minute of every day can be filled with the bondage of trying to "make things happen". Even in our churches today, so many different good things can overtake that which is best.

So, what should our focus be upon? Who should demand our attention? How should we approach our problems and in what should we put our energies into? I think the verse above gives us great insight. The passage says that Peter and John "had been with Jesus" and that was the determining factor. In other words, what really made a difference in their lives and ministries was not the strength they could muster from within nor was it their innate abilities or talents. It was the fact that they had learned from the person of Jesus and His truth took hold in their lives.

How about you? Are you learning from the person of Jesus? Has the truth of who He is, what He has done for you, and who you are in Him really gripped your heart? In other words, are you consciously focusing your attention on the person and work of Christ? You see, nothing else matters in life if we are not connected to the Source of life. Nothing can ever change if we fail to look to the One who brings change. The truth of who and who's we now are will not grip us if we are not learning from the One who is Truth.

I hope this challenges your heart to make Jesus the focal point of your life. I would like to close with a few final reflections that we must realize as we seek to draw upon the person and work of Christ:

1) Learning from Jesus takes time: The disciples had been with Jesus for well over three years before the events of this verse ever took place. As in any relationship, learning of your identity in Christ and of His sufficiency for all of life will take time. There are no shortcuts

2) Learning from Jesus Makes You More Reliant: That's right, more reliant! Contrary to popular teaching, growing in Christ makes you more dependent not less. As you realize your own weaknesses and Christ's sure sufficiency, you realize how you really can do nothing without Him (Jn. 15:5). Peter and John had just acted very boldly before men of great power but it reflected nothing upon themselves. They were "uneducated" and "common" men. Something more was at play here and the people around them knew it.

3) Learning From Jesus Always Points Others to Him: As in our verse, when people see the power of the gospel at work in our lives, it will not reflect upon us but will direct others to the source of our strength and message. We have nothing worthwhile that we can claim from our own hands. When our focus is upon Christ we direct the focus of others to Him as well.


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