I'm reading Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt. It is outstanding! Platt exhorts his readers to remember and live the simple truth: Jesus is what we need. We in the church in America forget that, trading his sufficiency for our own power and methods. Platt pointed me to Acts 4. The apostles had been teaching and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. That message did not sit well with the religious elite, who tossed Peter and John in the slammer. Luke gives us a firsthand account of what happened the next day. Pay particularly close attention to verse 13:
5The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?" 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then 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. 11He is " 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.' 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." 13When 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 4:5-13 NIV)
What was it about Peter and John that captivated the religious leaders? Was it their Ivy-League education . . . their stellar pedigree . . . their amazing rhetoric . . . or their connections to people in high places? The short answer: NO! It wasn't THEM at all. It was WHO they were with. Luke writes, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
I wonder if my life makespeople stop in their tracks, scratch their heads, and say, "I know this guy--he's not that good! There must be some other power at work within him!"Is anyone taking note that I have been with Jesus?
MY PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you remind me in John 15:5, "apart from me you can do nothing." Fill my life so that people cannot help but see you in me today.