The disciples were a rag tag group. Acts 4 calls them “uneducated” and “common.” And yet something stood out to their enemies. In their first of many arrests in the book of Acts, they’re surrounded by the Jewish leaders. Despite the potential intimidation, Acts 4 says the Jews were “astonished” at the disciples’ boldness, “and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”

“With” is the key word. One dictionary described the word as “a marker of an associative relation, often involving joint participation in some activity.”

Just take a journey through the Gospels and you’ll see the disciples “stayed with Him” (John 1:39), Lazarus was with Him (John 12:2), the twelve were with Him (Matthew 26:20), James and John were with Him (Mark 1:29). Interestingly, there’s no reference to the Jewish leaders being with Jesus – only that they were “around” Him (John 10:24) or “near” Him (John 9:40).

Never settle for being “near” Jesus because because “with” Him is a much better option.

The sad reality is that with the people who were simply “near” or “around” Jesus, we have no record of any miracles, ministry, or anything lasting that came from their lives. They just seem to have existed.

God has so much more for us than just existing, however, time with Jesus only comes through intentional decisions. Choose daily to say “no” to some things so you can “yes” to the most important things.


K E V I N • M I L L E R

There’s more where that came from! Click below to watch the entire message called “Near is Not Enough” from our series, Prevail.

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