Not long after Pentecost, Peter and John were hauled in front of the religious Council in order that they might be silenced. They were doing exactly what Jesus told them to do: going and making disciples. The scriptures tell us they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke boldly to the angry leaders about Jesus, crucified and risen even for them. What strikes me most is how the Council responds, “And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)
That verse always makes me stop and wonder, “Do others recognize that I’ve been with Jesus?” What about you? Would others recognize that you have been with Jesus today? Recently? Throughout your life?
Often as I ponder these things it drives me deeper into prayer, often in confession where I have failed, but in thanksgiving for His abounding grace for me. And the most basic point: if disciples are going to be recognized as being with Jesus, they have to spend time with Jesus.
This Summer we are going to spend a lot of time with Jesus. I sure hope you carve time out of your busy summer schedule to sit silently by the lake or in the woods or in your home in prayer. In worship we are going to spend a lot of time in the coming weeks and months being with Jesus. Our scripture readings in worship will follow the Gospel of Matthew from June all the way to Thanksgiving. If we want to be with Jesus, going straight to the Gospels is the place to be. We will be pickup of the Gospel of Matthew on June 11 beginning at Matthew 9:9-13 and follow our church body’s lectionary (appointed readings) all Summer and into the Fall. All the readings can be downloaded at https://www.lcms.org/worship/lectionary-series entitled “Three-Year Lectionary - Series A.
I look forward to how our Savior works in our lives as we take a deep dive into the Gospel of Matthew. I pray you and I will see anew what our Savior is like that we might learn from him, be transformed by him, that we would be His disciples and make more disciples. Or, at the very least, that others would simply recognize that we have been with Jesus.
Following King Jesus,