Recognized as having been with Jesus
Acts 4:1-31 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
5 On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. 7 When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. 15 But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” 18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened; 22 for the man was more than forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.
23 When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,
‘Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples devise futile things? 26 ‘The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’
27 For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. 29 And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
In today’s text it says: On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. These men were highly educated and trained in the knowledge of scriptures. Yet, in all their knowledge of the word of God, they had missed recognizing Jesus, the word made flesh. Knowledge alone is not enough. The benefits of Christ are for those who believe; those who confess that He is both Lord and Savior. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus also says: “Not everyone who says to Me,‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he whodoes the will of My Father in heaven.Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have wenot prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’Andthen I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” So, along with knowing, believing and confessing Jesus, we must also be known by Him. Just prior to saying there are those He never knew, in verses 15-20 He says: “Beware of false prophets,who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.You will know them by their fruits.Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?Even so,every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” If we are to know others by their fruit, we should recognize that Jesus will also know us by our fruit, whether the fruit of love and righteousness or the fruit of lawlessness.
Later in the text it says: Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. It is good to be educated and trained in and about scripture, but what is the most important thing for us is that we spend time with Jesus. More than knowing about Him, we need to know Him intimately by being with Him. The psalmist says: Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) As we spend time with Jesus, as we delight in knowing Him, our hearts become aligned with His, our desires become His desires. The religious leaders recognized that Peter and John had been with Jesus because of the great miracle that had been done, healing the lame man. That too, is what happens when we are with Jesus. He said of Himself: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.” (John 5:19-20) By being with Jesus, we too see what the Father is doing. Jesus says of us: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14) If we will spend time with Jesus, we will know Him; we will be known by Him and we will be recognized by others as having been with Him, both by our fruit and by the works that He does with us and through us.
The text says: When they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” The world will try to silence us, to keep us from speaking in the name of Jesus. The world has gotten to the point where the very mention of His name is considered offensive. But, Jesus has said: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” If we will be with Jesus, if we will spend time with Him, there will be no question who we will listen to and respond to in regards to what we say and do. If we will be with Jesus, we will be known by Him and known by others as having been with Him.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit that I can be known by You. I do delight in being with You. May my desire be Your desire and may I do the things that You are doing. May I be known by the fruit of love and righteousness and may others also know that I have been with You by the power of the Holy Spirit in me. Amen.