Men Who Had Been with Jesus!
"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13
There are men who seem to be so full of divine influence, that wherever they go they carry blessings. There is a strange power in their simplest words, which thrills every heart. There is a warm glow in their faces which seems like the outshining of a great altar fire, or a hot furnace of love in their bosoms. There is an unction in their prayers which takes hold of men's souls and lifts them up into the bosom of God. Their very presence brings a heavenly atmosphere. Their lives have a holy fragrance. And if you ask for the secret, you shall find it to be thisfthey have been with Jesus; they live with him; they abide in him; and wherever they go, they go right from his bosom.
These are the mighty ones of the earth. They live nearby the gates of Heaven, and when they come to us they bring their hands and their hearts full of rich blessings fresh from God. When a man comes in from outside on a cold, wintry day — he brings winter with him on his garments. When one comes from a flower garden into your chamber — he brings fragrance with him.
In the same way, when a man comes from communing with Jesus, "all his garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia." He walks in the garden of God — and comes with garments perfumed. Like the men who bore the Eshcol grapes from the vine-clad hills of Canaan — back into the wilderness he comes, laden with ripe clusters of the fruits, which, with his own hands, he has gathered upon the heavenly fields. He comes as a vessel, a vessel only of wood, or of clay, it may be — but a vessel fresh from the fountain, and full to the brim of the sweet waters of grace.
When these men who come from Jesus sit down by the bedside of the sick — they have something to offer, besides the common courtesies of friendship, or even the tender words of human sympathy and love. They have a word from God's own lips. They bring a message from the King. They bear healing waters drawn from the deep well of life.
When they sit down beside the mourner — they have something better than the world's cold comfort to present. They bring promises which shine like lamps in the gloom, and cast their bright beam far into the gloomy depths of sorrow.
When they sit down beside the tempted, tried, almost fainting one — they have something better to offer than human counsel, or a weak human arm.
When they stand before hungry hearts — they have something better than stones to give. They have been with Jesus and they bring the "hidden manna" from the sanctuary.
When they go out among the great needs and wants of human hearts — they go with their hands full of spiritual gifts. They live so near to the gates of Heaven that they catch the accents of the angels' songs, and then come and sing them in men's homes, to cheer the sad and weary of earth. They are on such intimate terms with Jesus, that he reveals to them many of the precious secrets of his love — and then they come and tell them to others who are burdened.
There is no power to be compared for a moment with spiritual power. Pompey boasted that with one stamp of his foot he could rouse all Italy to arms. But with all his power — he could not have comforted a mourner, nor dried a tear, nor lifted up a fainting one, nor led a lost soul to light. The achievements of physical power, will perish. The things that mighty men do, will pass away. The cities men build, will crumble. The thrones men raise, will topple and fall. But the things wrought by spiritual power, will endure forever.
They say that a word breathed into the air goes on and on forever, in infinite vibrations through the fields of space. This may be a mere vagary of the scientists — but certain it is, that good words once spoken will go on forever in human hearts. Songs sung into the ears of sorrow or care, will go singing on eternally. A touch of beauty on a human soul will never fade, nor be rubbed out. Joys started deep in men's hearts by spiritual truths, will never die. The things which are done in the name of Christ, and through the power of his grace, will last forever. I would rather be the obscurest servant in all God's field — and have the spiritual ability to bless, to comfort, to heal, to cheer, to lift up, to feed, and to point souls to the Lamb of Calvary — than be the mightiest emperor on the globe, ruling over half a continent.
This power can be gained. God will give it to his lowliest servants — but it can be obtained only in one way. Wealth will not give it. The universities cannot confer it. Genius has it not among its treasures. It is not gotten in military academies. It is not one of the jewels of the king's crown.
It can only be had by being much with Jesus. Live with him, commune with him, sit at his feet, lie on his bosom, go out daily and hourly from his presence — and you will be clothed with spiritual power.