They Boldly Acknowledged Jesus

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"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven, but whoever disowns me before men, I will disown before my Father in heaven."—Matthew 10:32 NIV

My father-in-law, Rev. John Rozendal, spent many years of his life as a missionary among the Jewish people, first in the Paterson Hebrew Mission in New Jersey and later in the Nathaneal Institute in Chicago. In later years, the building of Nathanael Institute on Pulaski Road became the home of the Lawndale Christian Reformed Church.

Many years ago, Dad Rozendal invited me to go with him to a meeting of the Hebrew Christian Alliance in Chicago, which met in the Nathanael Institute building. There an 18-year-old Jewish boy told his story. He was handsome and was President of the senior class in Austin High School, a large public school. Friends had invited him to a Youth for Christ meeting. At that meeting, he received Jesus as his Messiah. When his mother learned about it, she piled all of his clothes on his bed and said, "I'll give you two weeks to forget about it." The young man could not forget about it, so he was disowned by his parents and put out of his home. 

Dr. Charles Malik was minister of foreign affairs for the Republic of Lebanon. In 1959, he was President of the United Nations General Assembly. He wrote a book entitled Christ and CrisesDr. Malik was a Christian and not afraid to say so in public. He wrote, "I am personally sobered by Christ's warning, "Whosever shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father who is in heaven. And whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I deny before my Father in heaven."

Sometimes it takes humility and holy boldness to acknowledge Jesus before people. In Acts chapters 3 and 4, we have the record of Peter and John being used by Jesus to heal a crippled beggar. They said to some of the same people who crucified Jesus, "It is by the name of Jesus Christ whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you completely healed."

After their release, Peter and John went back to their own people who then called for a prayer meeting. In the prayer meeting, they asked God for only one thing, That one thing was boldness to be unafraid to speak the name of Jesus. "After they prayed, the place where they were was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly."

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