Having Been with Jesus
Friday night. The home team is down by 7 points. Taking the field again, they have possession. Something is different this quarter. Their stature, facial expressions and energy. They are ready! Having just come from the locker room during halftime, spending time with the coach as he encouraged, challenged, shared strategies, having eye contact with each player. Coachtime. Yes, they are ready.
Time spent with someone who inspires or encourages us, leaves a lasting impression. If enough time is spent with that person, and we truly desire to receive of their positive qualities, those qualities soon will become our own. Disciple.
Same principle, different scenario: Acts 4, Peter & John had declared Jesus’ name to the crippled man, healing him. Soon they found themselves in jail, then standing and openly exclaiming boldly about the risen Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It is said of them by the rulers, elders and teachers of the law, “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.” (v13) Ordinary men. They had been with Jesus. Courageous. Astonishing.
NOTHING speaks more than someone noticing Jesus in you. For some, they may not know that the gentle response, or the love shared, kind servanthood, joy bouncing off your countenance or the peace in your eyes … is Jesus. But by golly you have SOMETHING different and it is noticeable. It is the evidence, of a living relationship with your God. Peter & John had literally walked side by side with Jesus as He trained them. They spent invaluable time listening, interacting and observing the Master. There were times when they were quiet while Jesus spoke, taking it in. (Well, maybe not Peter, he spoke with unbridled zeal. HA!) Times when they asked questions, and observing moments when Jesus was just.. AMAZING. Queue Jesus walking on the water towards Peter as he reaches for THE Lifesaver. AMAZING.
We too have the opportunity to listen – interact and observe. Yet, do we take the opportunity or MAKE the opportunity. For some of us they are one in the same. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not speaking of a 40 day on the mountain top experience were we glow like a man dipped in glow-gue. Like Moses as he spent intense time in God’s presence. (see Ex. 33,34) However, there are indeed 24 hours in a day, and if only 5-10 minutes can be carved out for Jesus and Jesus alone – THAT is the most ‘invaluable’ minutes of the day. My drive time to work at 5:30am is one of my Jesus times. Granted, due to the law of the land, and the law of movement, ‘reading’ would not be appropriate. So I sing, I worship and pray. At times, I am quiet and allow the worship music to play over me. Jesus time. There are days, where I capture a few minutes, opening my Bible and some would say, “get me Geek on” and study. Listening, interacting and observing the Master. Jesus said, “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt. 11:28 MSG) By the time I get to work, I am now ready to wave at the shy co-worker, pop my head in the cafe and say “Good Morning” to Maria, the petite cashier, or love on some special folks of ALLLL (and I mean ALL) different walks of life. I may get asked some really good “God stuff” questions and ready to answer, with His wisdom. I had one fellow share with me that he didn’t see the need for Jesus to die to get man to heaven. Alrighty then! We had the most fabulous (and fun I might add) lengthy – theologicial instant messaging conversation known to man kind! My response, an evidence of a living relationship with my God. And, NOOOO. That is NOT just my personality. I am too lazy – too selfish and WAYYYY too self absorbed. Like Peter & John, ordinary men (gal), having been with Jesus!
How is our ‘having been with Jesus?” Are we? Do others see Him in us? Are we courageous, do our responses declare Him? Do we MAKE the time, for just Jesus, and He alone. Listening, interacting and observing our Master. Ordinary folks, astonishing others, ‘having been with Jesus.’ Like the football players, this quarter is different, we are ready!
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)