There was a great article in the Dallas Morning News Sports Page yesterday entitled, “Blue Collar Takes on Blue Blood.” The sub-title was “The Ramshackle Heat find motivation in test versus choice Celtics.” “The Miami Heat are to become the lowest seeded team in the NBA finals since 1999.” For the Boston Celtics basketball team there’s talent on demand out of the draft. For Miami, there’s endless hours of development. There is pedigree against blood, sweat, and tears. On paper there is no contest. Yet, last night, the Miami Heat rallied time and again to beat the Boston Celtics 117-114.
In Acts 4, a match up occurred that was way more uneven than the Heat vs. Celtic contest. Two uneducated fishermen from Galilee were pitted in debate against the ultra-educated, pedigreed Sanhedrin, each member being an expert in the law. Let’s see what happened letting the Bible speak to this episode, “5 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set (Peter, John and a crippled man healed the prior day) in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 13 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. 14 But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened.”
Two unlearned fishermen accompanied by a healed cripple were dragged in front of this body of powerful, supreme court, the-buck-stops-here-men. The Sanhedrin’s purpose for the meeting was to absolutely intimidate these poor men and put a screeching halt to their preaching and activities; H-O-W-E-V-E-R, they didn’t factor in something that totally turned the table in favor of these two uneducated men. These two Galileans were full of the Spirit of the Almighty God and spoke with power and clarity, and the name of Jesus filled up every crevice of that large room. These scholars and elite leaders realized this and “were astonished and recognized that they had been with Jesus.” When you think about it, the Sanhedrin was no match for Peter and John who were filled with the Holy Spirit.
In Ephesians 5:18, Paul the Apostle tells us to “to be filled with the Holy Spirit”….the very same Holy Spirit that empowered Peter and John. Why did they have such charisma, power, and boldness? “They had been with Jesus.” We need to spend more time with Jesus. Don’t click off yet. Bow your head right now, surrender your heart to Him, start setting aside time to meet with Him, and meditate on His Word through out the day. If you do, your spouse, your kids, your friends, your associates, and your enemies will see evidence in your life that “you had been with Jesus.”