Shortly after the resurrection of Jesus, Peter and John encountered a crippled beggar just outside the temple gate where they were going to worship. This man was carried to the gate daily to make his living by begging and he asked Peter and John for alms. Peter responded, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The man was instantly healed and in utter joy he began running through the temple, jumping and shouting, “Jesus healed me!”
People recognized the cripple and a crowd gathered as they marveled at the sight. Peter and John took advantage of the situation and began boldly preaching repentance, resulting in the salvation of thousands (see Acts 4:4). When the rulers of the synagogue saw what was happening they were outraged and had the men thrown into jail. Then they demanded to know, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” (4:7). Of course, they knew exactly whose name was being preached, but they purposely blinded themselves to it.
Peter was emboldened by the Holy Spirit and answered the rulers, “By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead … There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (4:10 and 12). The rulers were stunned and “they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (4:13).
What was the mark that distinguished Peter and John? It was the presence of Jesus! Those synagogue rulers realized, ‘We crucified Jesus, yet he’s still speaking today through these two men.” In that very hour, Peter and John were fulfilling Jesus’ command to testify of him “in Jerusalem” (Acts 1:8). Likewise, I believe God’s powerful witness in these last days will not come through preaching alone. It will also come through men and women who “have been with Jesus” by shutting themselves in with him and seeking him with all their heart and soul.
What greater evidence of God could there be than lives transformed by the supernatural power of Christ? May it be said of you, “That man, that woman, has been with Jesus!”