Acts 4:13

 

Did your mom ever say, “Who have you been with?”

“You smell like smoke.”  “You smell like perfume.”

When we have been with certain people we smell like them.

 

Do you smell like Jesus?

Has Jesus’ love, mercy, grace, compassion, patience, courage rubbed off on you?

If not have you really been with Jesus?

 

The last two weeks we have talked about being changed by the resurrection of Jesus. The Apostles went from hiding behind a locked door to being willing to preach and die.  We need to change because as Christians we have God the Holy Spirit living in us.

 

How were the Apostles changed and how can we be changed? We have to spend time with Jesus.

 

Acts 4:13 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.

 

Do people take note that you have been with Jesus?

 

It was just a normal day – Peter and John were headed to the Temple to pray (John 3:1). Why did they notice this beggar today, wasn’t he there every day; did they take a different route to the Temple.  Today the beggar asked Peter and John for money but they didn’t have any.  They did what Jesus had done, give the beggar something better than money, they gave him his health.

 

Acts 3:1  One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon. 2  Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3  When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4  Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5  So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7  Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8  He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9  When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10  they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

 

All this jumping and praising God in the Temple caused a stir.

People started running to see what was going on.  (Rubber necking is nothing new – wanting to be in the know is nothing new) Peter took this opportunity to preach Jesus.

The priests with the Temple guards soon arrived to calm the people down.  What did they find?  A known lame man jumping and praising God and two guys preaching about this Jesus who was crucified.

Peter and John were arrested but many believed what they were preaching and accepted Christ.

 

The next day, after a night in prison, Peter and John were called before the High Priest’s family and other religious leaders to give an account for what they had done.

 

Acts 4:8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10  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. 11  He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone’. 12  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

 

It was this very group of men who convinced Pilate to crucify Jesus because He was a blasphemer and now Peter and John are saying this Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Peter and John are crazy – they are going to be killed.

 

Acts 4:13 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.

 

These religious leaders had seen this same kind of courage and passion 2 months earlier, when Jesus taught and answered their questions and was condemned to die.

 

They had to be thinking – just go away – we killed your leader and now you are causing us trouble.

 

Peter and John and the rest of the Apostles and followers were not going away. The Jews would have to kill them to shut them up.  That is what eventually happened.

 

It was the courage of Peter and John in the face of persecution and death that got the attention of the religious leaders. The only explanation for this courage was because they had been with Jesus.  Peter and John were courageous because Jesus was courageous in the face of death.

 

Matthew 26:46  Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” … 50  Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

 

Peter and John faced persecution and death like Jesus.

Acts 4:18  Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19  But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20  For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

 

How is your courage in the face of death?

How is your courage to speak the name of Jesus and to stand up for what is right and godly?

 

You would have courage if you had been with Jesus.

We gain courage when we are around courageous people. Remember the scared army of Israel until David came and said I will fight Goliath.  David defeated one guy and the whole Israelite army started chasing down the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:52).

 

We are not courageous because we have not spent enough time with Jesus.

To many of us are like Judas – we have been around Jesus but we have not been influenced by Jesus.

Being around Jesus and being with Jesus is not the same thing.

Being around Christians and being with Jesus is not the same thing.

Being around church and being with Jesus is not the same thing.

 

Billy Sunday said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.”

 

We must spend time with Jesus and let Him and His words influence and change us.

How do we do that and what will we look like after we have been with Jesus?

 

Judas had been with Jesus but it didn’t take. Judas was selfish, he didn’t let the words of Jesus change him.

 

Jesus often said, “He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15).

Hear the word and do the word.

It is not enough to read the Bible we must put it into practice.

It does you no good to come to church, sing songs, and listen to sermons if you never change.

Develop relationships with Christians, truly worship God through the songs we sing and put His words into practice.  Be truly converted – be changed – become new and renewed day by day (Romans 12:2).

 

Put the words of Jesus into practice that will show you have been with Jesus.

Matthew 7:24  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

 

Our life on the rock of Jesus will make us courageous, fearless and brave to stand for Him and live for Him..

 

Being with Jesus means putting His words into practice. Which means you have to know His words first and then practice what He taught (John 8:31).

Read the Bible, study the Bible, practice what the Bible says!

If you are not reading the Bible daily no one will take note that you have been with Jesus. Being with Jesus has to be a consistent part of your life.

 

What do you know the Bible teaches?

What do you know the Bible teaches that you are not doing?

You don’t have to learn something new – just practice what you know.

 

Let Jesus influence you, quit resisting.

Take up your cross and follow Him.

 

We could all improve by living by Paul’s list of virtues – Patience / Forgiveness

Colossians 3:12  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 

Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) 22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness and self-control.

 

Worry

Matthew 6:25  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? …33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

Accept God’s will – we always want our will done, we like things done the easy way.

We should pray for God’s will to be done, pray that we are bold not that persecution stops.

 

Acts 4:23  On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24  When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. …29  Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

 

The Christians prayed scripture, they prayed for boldness to speak – they did not pray for an easy path, they did not pray that they would not be arrested, they did not pray they would not die – they prayed “enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”

 

They were bold because they had been with Jesus, they were bold because they depended on Jesus in times of threat. This is a perspective we normally don’t have as Americans.  We have been influenced by American Christianity instead of being influenced by Jesus.

 

When you spend time with Jesus, in His word and in prayer you will grow to be like Him. When you spend time with other Christians who spend time with Jesus you can encourage and help one another become more like Jesus.  The proverb is true.

 

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

 

Are you walking with the wise or with fools?

 

If you are not walking with Jesus today why don’t you come, accept His forgiveness and grace.

If you are a Christian then let Jesus continue to influence you and change you so others will see that you have been with Him.