Tag: Peter

“They have been with Jesus”

David Wilkersonby David Wilkerson

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!”

by David Wilkerson

 

Playing Second Fiddle (Andrew)

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

The twelve apostles included “Andrew” (Matt. 10:2).

Andrew is a picture of all believers who humbly minister behind the scenes.

It’s been said that no one likes playing second fiddle, but that wasn’t Andrew’s perspective at all. Growing up in the shadow of an aggressive, outspoken brother like Peter would be a challenge for anyone. Even in the biblical record Andrew is known as “Simon Peter’s brother” (e.g., John 1:40). Yet when Andrew met Jesus, his first response was to tell Peter, knowing full well that once Peter became a disciple he probably would run the group. But Andrew was a truly humble man who was more concerned about bringing people to Christ than about who was in charge.

Andrew’s faith and openness prompted him to take advantage of every opportunity to lead others to Christ. He knew that the Lord’s primary mission was to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6), but he led Gentiles as well as Jewish people to Christ (John 12:20-22). He had seen Jesus change water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11), so he knew Jesus could do much with very little. That must have been on his mind when he brought the boy with five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus, knowing it would take a miracle to feed the huge crowd with such a small offering (John 6:8-9).

Tradition tells us that just prior to his death, Andrew preached in a province in which the governor’s wife heard the gospel and was saved. The governor demanded that she reject Christ, but she refused. In anger he had Andrew crucified on an X-shaped cross, on which Andrew hung for two days before dying. Even then his courage didn’t fail. He preached the gospel from that cross—still trying to bring others to Christ.

Andrew symbolizes all those humble, faithful, and courageous Christians who labor behind the scenes. They’re the backbone of every ministry and the ones on whom every leader depends. You might never be a prominent leader like Peter, but you can be a faithful, courageous servant like Andrew.

by John MacArthur