Have You been with Jesus?

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In Today’s Bible reading from Acts 4, we see Peter and John responding to an accusatory question from a room full of Jewish leaders, “By what power or by what name have you done this? (Acts 4:7)

The question reminds me of the same question posed to Jesus by perhaps the same people. Jesus responded with a question about the origin John the Baptizer’s authority (Luke 20:3). When they responded, we don’t know, Jesus told them that He wouldn’t respond to their question. (Luke 20:8)

Peter and John’s response didn’t follow the same route as Jesus’. They simply responded that their authority came from Jesus. (Acts 4:10)

The response of those religious leaders is stunning. They recognized that neither of these Disciples was a seminary; they were simple, ordinary men. But these leaders also recognized that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)


Perhaps you are like Peter and John and you’ve never been trained by a seminary faculty to study and preach. That’s OK! Nowhere in the Bible are we told that a believer — or a preacher for that matter — has to go to seminary in order to speak God’s Word. Now, there is nothing wrong with going to seminary; ordinary people can learn a lot in seminary classes and in relating with other believers in a seminary environment. But the Bible does not make a seminary education a requirement for proclaiming God’s Word.

The only true qualification for proclaiming God’s Word is found at the end of Acts 4:13, “They recognized that they had been with Jesus.”

Have you been with Jesus? If you have, you have an authority that you can never gain by taking classes in a theological institution. No panel of church leaders can grant you that authority. Sure, you can have a wall full of diplomas and certificates, but you won’t have Kingdom authority unless you’ve been with Jesus.

Studying the Bible

OK, Jesus isn’t walking among us now. So how is someone supposed to be with Jesus?

That’s a great question! Going to seminary is good and can help. So can going to church. But if you really want to be with Jesus, you have to spend time with Him in His Word. You have to log time in His Word and in prayer. You have to practice the spiritual disciplines. (see affiliate links below for more information about the spiritual disciplines)

All of these things are tools to help you spend time with Jesus. As you spend time with Him, people will recognize that you have been with Jesus. So there! Go spend some time with Jesus!