Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 (ESV)
A young girl, recently graduated from high school, used this verse in a message she gave during our worship service this past Sunday. The thought resonated with me, “And they recognized they had been with Jesus.”
Peter and John had been placed under arrest. “Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander and the rest of the high-priestly family” (v. 6) had gathered with the other powers- that-be. Their purpose was to hear the case against Peter and John. Their ‘crime’ was of healing, “teaching, and proclaiming to the people about the resurrection of the dead.”(v. 2)
When our youthful speaker read this, the thoughts came to me. “Do people today recognize that we have been with Jesus?” “Do people see Jesus in me?”
How can people recognize that we belong to Jesus in our fast-paced, hurry-it-up, look-at-me world? The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Galatians, gives us a list of qualities that show Christ in us.
We are to:
*show LOVE to one another even if we don’t agree with that person on something. If we don’t like his or her behavior, Jesus still commands us to love that person.
*be filled with JOY even when we are unhappy. Joy comes from having Christ in our hearts, while happiness comes from our outward circumstance.
*be PEACE lovers and practitioners in all our relationships with others. This means we are not confrontational, unless Jesus allows us to be.
*show PATIENCE with one another. Patience is a learned response that comes as we grow in the LORD.
*show KINDNESS to one another. When we have to wait in line for a cashier to get to our purchases and her register is not working as it should. We need to extend kindness and be as patient as we can be in this scene.
*show GOODNESS to those around us who are in need. By sending a greeting card to someone who is ill or has suffered a loss, we show a kindness that they will remember.
*show FAITHFULNESS. As followers of Christ, are to stand by our word. A Christian should follow through on all he or she says they will do.
*show GENTLENESS to those in our world. A gentle word calms the soul and stems any anger another person may have in their hearts.
*show SELF-CONTROL. I believe Paul placed this virtue at the end of his list because, to me, it seems to be the culmination of all the other virtues he highlights.
In case you think I have it all together, I struggle with a few of these and especially that last one.