HAVE YOU BEEN WITH JESUS

(ACTS 4:13)

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.    When people look at you, can they tell that you have been with Jesus?

 

2.    In (Acts 4:13), the Bible says that the people saw the boldness and the courage of Peter and John and took note that they had been with Jesus.

 

3.    It had been almost two months since the crucifixion of Jesus, two months since God's dear Son, had been executed by the Roman soldiers.

 

4.    In the eyes of many, Jesus was no more than a momentary blimp on the screen of time; just another religious fanatic who had come and gone.  Pilate washed his hands of him.  The Pharisees were glad to get rid of him.  The people no longer cared because he was not the political Messiah they were hoping for.

 

5.    Yet, when Peter and John came to town, it did not take long for the people to realize that “they had been with Jesus."  When you got around these men you could smell the aroma of Jesus; you could see the radiance of Jesus; you could feel the presence of Jesus.

        

THIS MORNING, FROM THE PASSAGE IN (ACTS 4), WE WILL TAKE NOTE OF SOME OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN WITH JESUS.

        

I.  THE FIRST CHARACTERISTIC OF SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN WITH JESUS IS COMPASSION.

 

1.    Earlier in (Acts 3), Peter and John healed a man who had been lame for over forty years.

 

2.    They took the time to show this man compassion.

 

3.    You cannot help but be compassionate with people when you have been with Jesus, because Jesus was a man of compassion, and even today He wants to be compassionate through us.

        

ILLUSTRATION

 

I read the story one time of an orphanage who had a superintendent who would always pray with his children.  When he would ask the blessing, he would bow his head with all the little children in this orphanage, and he would say, "Lord Jesus, we thank you for the food that you have provided.  We want you to come and be our honored guest at this meal."

        

Well one little fellow had heard that prayer so many times, he finally said, "Why doesn't Jesus ever come?  You always invite Him to be our guest.  Will He ever come?" 

        

This superintendent said, "Well, He will come if we really want him to."  This little fellow said, "Well, I'm going to put a chair out for Him."  He put a chair right next to his chair and said, "This chair is for Jesus if He comes."

 

Well that same day there was a knock at the door, and they went to the door and there was an old man in rags there who was hungry and shivering and cold.  The superintendent said, "Sir, come in and share a meal with us.  We'd be glad to have you.  Just come in here and sit down and warm yourself.  We even have a chair for you.  Sit right here."  He put the man in the chair that had been set aside for Jesus. 

        

After this was over, the little fellow looked up at the superintendent and said, "I see it all so clearly now.  Jesus couldn't come Himself, but he sent this man to take his place."   You know Jesus said "If you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me."

        

4.    When we show compassion to others, it is though we are showing it directly to Jesus.

 

5.    A true mark of a person who has been with Jesus is a person who shows compassion.

 

II.  THE SECOND CHARACTERISTIC OF SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN WITH JESUS IS COURAGE.

 

1.    Back in (Acts 4), Peter and John were arrested for preaching the gospel.

 

§         “The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.  They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.  They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day” (1-3).

 

2.    These guys were arrested for preaching that Jesus was raised from the dead.

 

3.    Although the Scriptures say that to the Jews (the cross) was a stumbling block and to the Greeks it was foolishness, it didn’t stop Peter and John from preaching.  They had the courage to speak the truth even though they were surrounded by opposition.

 

ILLUSTRATION

 

The week before September 11, 2001, America's "Tuesday of Terror," 32-year-old Todd Beamer and his wife, Lisa, had spent a romantic getaway in Italy. The couple, both 1991 graduates of Wheaton College, returned home Monday rested and relieved to be reunited with their boys David, 3, and Andrew, 1.

 

But extended family time would have to wait. The next morning Todd, an executive with Oracle, had to be at a sales reps meeting in Northern California. He kissed Lisa, who was five months pregnant with their third child, goodbye and headed to the Newark, New Jersey, airport where he boarded United Flight 93 for San Francisco.

 

About 90 minutes into the westbound flight, the Boeing 757 was approaching Cleveland when three hijackers onboard identified themselves to the 34 passengers and 7 crew and proceeded to take control of the cockpit and cabin. The plane, now piloted by the would-be terrorists, made a sharp turn to the south.

 

Todd reached for the GTE airfone in the back of one of the seats and was connected to a GTE supervisor on the ground. He explained to her what was happening and indicated that he and the other passengers would not likely survive. He presumed the pilot and co-pilot were already seriously injured or dead.

 

The GTE employee explained to Todd what had already happened at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Upon hearing this news, Todd must have realized that the hijackers were intent on crashing the plane into another prominent building near Washington D.C. (the direction they were now headed). Even though the hijacker nearest to Todd had a bomb belted around his middle, the former Wheaton College baseball player told the GTE representative that he and a few others were determined to do whatever they could to disrupt the terrorists' plan.

 

He then asked the person on the other end of the phone to call his wife and report their entire conversation to her (including how much he loved her). Before hanging up, this committed Christian and devoted family man, who taught Sunday school each week, asked the GTE employee to pray the Lord's Prayer with him. With the sound of passengers screaming in the background, she complied. When they concluded the prayer, Scott calmly said, "Help me, God. Help me, Jesus."

 

The GTE employee then heard Todd say, apparently to the other three businessmen he'd alluded to earlier: "Are you ready, guys? Let's roll!" With that the phone went dead.

Within a few minutes, Flight 93 was nose diving into a rural field 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, where it left a crater 40 feet deep as it disintegrated upon impact.

 

Because Todd Beamer was committed to Jesus Christ and his Kingdom, he was willing to do whatever was necessary to put the needs of others above his own fear of danger and imminent death. Thanks to him and the three other businessmen who joined with him, the intended target in the nation's capital was not reached and who knows how many lives were saved because of that. No one on the ground was killed.

 

According to Todd's wife, Lisa, "His example of courage has given me, my boys (and my unborn baby) a reason to live."

 

4.    Satan has hijacked thousands of people intending to crash their lives.  We need the courage that Todd Beamer and the others had.  We need to take back the plane.  We need to rescue those folks before it is too late.

 

5.    But where can we get the courage to lead people out of darkness and show them the light?  Listen to what (verse 13) says…"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled.  And they realized that they had been with Jesus."

 

6.    They possessed strength and the courage because they had been with Jesus.

 

ILLUSTRATION

 

Charles Spurgeon said, "There is something in the very tone of the man who has been with Jesus, which has more power to touch the heart than the most perfect oratory. 

 

7.    If you desire the courage to tell people about salvation, spend more time with Jesus.  He will give you the boldness to share the cross with others.

 

III.  THE THIRD CHARACTERISTIC OF SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN WITH JESUS IS COMMITMENT.

 

1.    Peter and John were sold out lock, stock, and barrel to Jesus.  They were committed to the person to Jesus.  No one, not family nor friend; no thing, not life nor limb, meant more to them than Jesus.

 

2.    They were committed to the preaching of Jesus.  You know, quite frankly, if a law were passed today that would make it a crime to talk about Jesus, it wouldn't bother some of you, because some of you never talk about Jesus anyway.  To be honest, it would please a few of you because you feel guilty now because you don't share Jesus, and it would give you an excuse for your silence.

 

3.    If these disciples had obeyed that law, their lives would have been so much easier.  Nobody would have ever been upset with them.  They would have never been under danger of persecution or imprisonment.  They could have lived a nice quiet life and died at a ripe old age.

 

4.    Do you know the reason why many of us don't talk about Jesus?  Because we are afraid of what people will say about us, and we are afraid of what people will say against us.

 

5.    Well I want to tell you, if you have ever truly met the risen Jesus; if you have ever really been with Jesus; you will have to say what these disciples said, "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

 

6.    Peter and John were not only committed to preaching about Jesus….they were also committed to pleasing Jesus. They didn't care about pleasing men.  All they cared about was pleasing God.

 

7.    You know in chapter 5 we have a re-run of this same thing that had taken place in chapter 4.

 

8.    Peter and John were thrown in prison a second time for preaching Jesus.  They were brought before this same council, and notice what was said.  "Did we not strictly command you not teach in this name?  And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, 'We ought to obey God rather than men.'" (5:28-29)

 

9.    When a man has been with Jesus, all that matters is that he obey God.

 

ILLUSTRATION

 

Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A restaurants, is a successful businessman, but for many, he is even better known—and respected—for letting his faith guide his business operation. Here is an example:

Mr. Cathy's restaurants have been closed on Sundays since 1948. The 79-year-old CEO of the nearly 1,000 Chick-fil-A restaurants doesn't mind losing millions of dollars of business to honor the Lord's day.

 

10. Although many people would like to see Chick-fil-A open on Sundays, the founder says No.  Public opinion doesn’t drive his decisions…God does!

 

11. We should be so close to Jesus that we always strive to please Him and not man.

 

CONCLUSION

         

1.    In closing, I would like for us to learn a valuable lesson this morning.  These disciples were uneducated.  They were untrained.  They didn't have a lot of influence; didn't have a lot of power; didn't have a lot of intellectual brilliance, but they were mighty servants of God because they had been with Jesus.

 

2.    How can you tell if someone has been with Jesus?  If see compassion, courage, and a commitment to Christ…then you can tell that someone has been with Jesus.

 

3.    It is my prayer that we have such a close relationship with our Lord that when others see us, they can tell that we have been with Jesus.