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
The passing of 81-year-old Traudl Junge in February of 2002 went almost unnoticed. What little attention she received came because of her reminiscences about her old employer. Concerning that man she said, “He was a pleasant boss and a fatherly friend. I … enjoyed the time by his side almost until the bitter end. It wasn't what he said, but the way he said things and how he did things." Her boss sounds like a nice guy doesn’t he? Her kindly boss was Adolf Hitler.
It just goes to show, you can’t tell a book by its cover. We shouldn’t be surprised; the Bible has been telling us that for thousands of years. In the pages of Scripture, we see men and women as they really are. Even the heroes of faith are shown with all their sins and shortcomings. Adam started out perfect and then he sinned. Noah faithfully built the ark, but he was not above enjoying a bit too much wine. Moses took the people through the wilderness and then disobeyed God. David may have been a great king, but he was also an adulterer and murderer. In every person of Scripture you will see feet of clay. Every person, no matter how good they are, no matter how hard they try, still needs a Savior.
We’re like that, too, aren’t we? All of us have qualities of which we are neither proud nor pleased, parts of ourselves we try to keep hidden. We cannot escape our dark side, our sinful side, our evil side. Which is precisely why we need the Savior. When Jesus is your Savior, the sins that have blackened your soul are forgiven, and you are free. When Jesus is your Lord, every aspect of your life is reborn and recycled. Your actions, your talk, your habits are transformed.
Transformed men were what the High Priests saw the day Peter and John appeared before them. The spiritual leaders of Israel expected to see cowards; instead they found courage. They expected to meet with unschooled, ordinary men; instead, they came face-to-face with men of conviction. What had happened? In Jesus, the Holy Spirit had put a new cover on the book of those men’s lives. Over the centuries He has done the same for others. He wants to do the same for you.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on January 18, 2004
THE PRAYER: Dear God, all of us have parts of ourselves we try to keep hidden. I cannot escape my dark side, which is precisely why I need You, my Savior. Because of You, the sins that have blackened my soul are forgiven, and I am free! Lord, I praise You for giving me new life in You. Help me share this miraculous transformation with those around me. In Your Precious Name. Amen.