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.
I have had the privilege of coaching various sports and teams over the years and I began to see a trend especially as I looked at children and youth athletes. When I witnessed disrespectful athletes, (disrespectful to fellow athletes, referees, coaches etc.) invariably when I met the team coach I found that they were equally or even more disrespectful. It was apparent that either the coached attracted similar parents and kids, or more likely, the athletes just became what the coach demonstrated to them every day.
The scripture I quoted above from Acts is on the list of my favourites. It is obvious that Peter and John had become so positively infected by Jesus that “the world” was astonished and were forced to no other conclusion than that they had “been with Jesus”.
As Christians we often read the Bible and we understand the principles and we try to live out the principles. The problem with this is that it can lead to a form of self-righteousness, a plan of self-effort that usually ends in failure. I am not at all suggesting a believer should not be immersed daily in the Word of God, what I am saying is that the primary goal needs to be for us to “be with Jesus”.
John 15:5 says ““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. We can read the Bible and yet not be grafted to Jesus. We can be living a life of Biblical principles, yet miss the joy of living with Jesus. It needs to begin with the heart and a desire to commune with Jesus. Each day needs to begin with a:
“Good morning Jesus! I look forward to my day with you. Lord teach me today; adjust me today; use me as your humble servant to further the work of your Kingdom on this day you have created”.
Now as you dig into His Word, as you go about the business of the day, you are with Jesus. Now even what some people would call the secular part of your life – how you run, how you skate, how you compete – becomes a holy part of your life. Suddenly people will recognize something very different in you. They will be amazed and it is because you “have been (and are) with Jesus”.