The book of Acts is one of my favorite books in the Bible. The story of the early church is fascinating to me. The boldness of the apostles blows me away. They are constantly standing in the midst of the people proclaiming Jesus. Paul traveled the known world and stood before kings preaching Jesus. It’s a beautiful story of grace and adventure.
Acts 4 starts out this way,
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
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 4:1-13, ESV)
That last sentence though. Read it again.
Read it one more time.
OK, now I’m about to get a little nerdy on you.
That word, “they recognized” has the sense in Greek of “perceived, learned, know.” It’s also an imperfect verb. The imperfect tense is something that happened regularly in the past. So, they perceived that Peter and John had hung out with Jesus on the regular.
These guys were average in every way, they were considered to be “uneducated, common men.” These men were not superstars. They were not men who would grace the covers of magazines today. Nope, just ordinary guys from the block.
Yet, there was one trait about them that stood out. They had been with Jesus.
When people are hanging around you, would they recognize that about you? Would they think, “There’s something different about her?”
I desperately want to live in such a way that people recognize that I have been with Jesus. How about you?