“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.’
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. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.” Acts 4:8-14 (NIV)
Have ever been around someone, and you knew that they had spent time with Jesus? The aroma of their life is different; their words communicate a depth of understanding and a heart for people. There is something intriguing and engaging about these type of people. When we watch from up close or from a distance, we can see the transformative power of Jesus to change a life.
Peter and John were brought before the Jewish rulers to be questioned. Initially, they had been seized and placed in jail for healing a man. In the midst of the questions, Peter was not taking credit for the miracle; he was deflecting the glory to Jesus. But there was something significant to take note of as the Jewish rulers listened to Peter and John. Peter and John faced the moment with deep conviction and courage. Peter had probably been known as a fisherman by the Jewish rulers. But, as these people looked at him, they saw someone different. They saw someone who had spent significant time with Jesus. As a result, there was a depth and courage that characterized his life that could not be explained any other way. Remember when Peter denied Jesus three times? This is the same man proclaiming Jesus’ power. Something changed inside of Peter when he truly understood the power of Jesus.
If we have a relationship with God, sometimes it’s not always viewed as popular to be like Jesus. We might associate with a general version of “Christianity” but can feel overwhelmed by the thought of taking a stand for Jesus. As we spend time with Him, something begins to change in our hearts. When we truly recognize Jesus as our Savior, it begins to change the composition of our lives. We can’t become people who have been with Jesus without being with Him. There was something very ordinary about the disciples. Their appearance probably did not cause people to stop them on the road. They were not meeting the expectations of those around them. How could ordinary fishermen know anything about God? But, their occupation wasn’t the issue. The issue was the time they had spent with Someone who made a transformative change in their lives. The same can be true of you and me. Your occupation is not the issue. God can use your life to spread His love right where you are today. As we lean into Him, our mindset, perspective, and heart is changed. And as people are around us, they begin to realize the extraordinary power of Jesus to change an ordinary person like you and me.
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