There are a few perfumes or colognes that I always closely identify with family or friends. One of those is Sunflowers, which my beloved friend Pam always wore when I was growing up. She has always felt like a blend of an aunt and friend to me, and I love being with her. After spending time with Pam, I would go about my other activities, but the Sunflowers fragrance would continue to waft to my nose. It was as if her presence lingered with me. In fact, I could usually tell if my mom had spent time with Pam because she would have a hint of that Sunflowers sweetness.
Our passage today from Acts includes the account of Peter and John before the Jewish Council. They were arrested as they preached the good news. While before the council, Peter testified about Jesus and the resurrection (Acts 4:8-12).
Though these were common, uneducated men (Acts 4:13) the educated authority figures could tell something was different about them as they spoke. They could tell that Peter and John had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). The “fragrance” of Christ lingered upon them (2 Corinthians 2:14-17). Their boldness in testifying about Jesus was astonishing to the council. Peter and John did not have to work up the nerve to share their faith: it poured out of them. They couldn’t keep themselves from talking about what Christ had done (Acts 4:20). They had so closely communed with Jesus that others could sense His distinctive impact upon them. Even in His absence, Jesus’ scent remained with them.
Is the same true for you? Could others tell by your demeanor, business practices, even by the way that you drive that you are a person who is different because you’ve been with Jesus? Does the scent of His character linger upon you beyond your quiet time? Spend time in prayer today, seeking the One who can transform you from the inside out.
Acts 4:1-22 (ESV):
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
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 them 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 menby 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. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.