Seeing is Believing – Sermon Summary   2 comments

Acts 4:13-20.  Real Followers series, pt.6

So there I was, sitting in a chair facing the church with Diane standing lovingly behind me.  I couldn’t kneel, so the chair was mandatory.  The first person in line to lay hands on me for my ordination was Dr. Johnson, dean of my school.  He had delivered what I thought was a perfect message.  When laying on hands, usually one is encouraged to say a small prayer or offer words of encouragement.  Dr. Johnson approached me and I waited in eager anticipation for what was bound to be some of the most prophetic words I would ever hear in my life.  He placed his hands on my head, leaned in close, and spoke into my ear, “Dave, never resign on a Monday.” 

And he walked away.  Planning for tears and landing in full chuckle, I thought it was a great joke.  10 years later, I find that those truly were some of the most helpful words ever spoken to a young minister.  But I digress from the point.

I am the only person on the planet that is a witness to that event.  A witness is one who tells others what they have seen, heard, and/or experienced.  How are real followers of Jesus today witnesses?

Soon after Pentecost, what I call the first Christian church was growing rapidly.  One day Peter and John were going  to the Temple to pray when they happened upon a beggar.  Peter invoked the name of Jesus and the man was healed, giving Peter and opportunity to preach even more.  He and John were arrested and taken to the Sanhedrin.

The Sanhedrin were somewhat smug and secure men, leaders of the Jewish faith community.  They knew that Peter and John were not scholars like themselves, but they were just taken to task by these two for their role in the crucifixion of Jesus and part of the problem was this healing.  What were the Sanhedrin to do now?  They desperately wanted to maintain their position in society, so they warn them not to preach in this name again and send them on their way.

But Peter and John provide the ultimate ‘in your face’ statement as they go.  “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19b-20, NIV).  In other words, are you telling us to listen to you OVER God?

The Sanhedrin had to be thoroughly ticked at this, but just threatened and sent Peter and John on their way.  After being caught again, scolded and warned again, they once again told these ‘high and mighty’ men that they will only listen to God and not any man, let alone the Sanhedrin.

What was it they had seen and heard?  Jesus.

What is it you have seen and heard?  Jesus.

Acts 1:8 is a directive given by Jesus to more than just a group of people who were about to witness His ascension into heaven.  It is a directive for you and I today to be a witness for Him. 

This is how you witness in the world today – tell your story.  After all, only you know what you have experienced.  Nobody else can tell your story.

Real followers are people who know their own personal experience with Jesus, and boldly share with others that which they know firsthand.

2 responses to “Seeing is Believing – Sermon Summary

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  1. Interesting blog, I’ll try and spread the word.

  2. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

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