“When [the Jewish rulers and elders] 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 4:13 NIV)
This passage came to mind as I was reading from the journal of Elizabeth Leseur; a late 19th century lay Catholic who suffered greatly in her life, including the pain of a beloved but unbelieving husband. She died of breast cancer. Five years after her death and in answer to her prayers, he became a priest in the Dominican order.
The tone of her journals tells me that it was her being with Jesus in loving relationship that changed her life so dramatically.
- What will others notice first about the impact and influence of our lives?
- Will they talk about our accomplishments?
- Will they talk about titles or positions we have held?
- Will they talk of our education or breadth of knowledge?
- Or, will they notice the difference it has made in us that we have been with Jesus?
The Acts passage above doesn’t say that they took note of what Peter and John believed about Jesus or did for Him. It says they were His companions. They were part of His community. They were with Him.
What do I expect others to notice about my life? Honestly, I often hope that I speak in a way that impresses others. I want to be seen as well read or even wise. If I really am wise, though, I want it to be the wisdom of having lived long in relationship with Jesus Christ. I certainly don’t want it to be wise with wisdom of this world. I don’t want it to be sophistication-wisdom or mere book-knowledge.
Peter and John had little outwardly to recommend them as men of influence. They did not have the benefit of formal schooling as the Jewish rulers had. Yet they carried themselves with far greater wisdom and courage than these well-schooled elders. Amazing!
- How might Jesus be inviting you to simply be with Him in relationship?
- How will He call you to deep places of loving abandonment to His great love?