“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 NIV)
This verse of your Holy Word convicts me because I confess that there are not many “astonished” by my courage for You. We, the people of Your Body, are all ordinary men yet You have called us to do extraordinary things by the power of Your Spirit. For it was not the courage and confidence of Peter that gave him the strength to preach the Gospel before the very men who called for Your blood to be shed, but Your Word tells us that he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:8). It is not many of the wise, or the noble of this world whom You have called to share the Message of Salvation with a lost and dying world but ordinary, weak and earthen vessels into whom You have poured Your power.
Nor is our courage and confidence to be found in the education and knowledge of this age, even if such things have their benefits. Though we might possess great acumen for scholarship, or a prodigious aptitude for philosophical and intellectual pursuits, these can do nothing to change a hardened heart except Your Spirit moves upon it. Neither must a lack of education or learning be cause for fear and anxiety because, after all, it was Your power present in those two fishermen that day that made the lame man walk — something which all the combined mental abilities of some of the greatest thinkers in Israel could not accomplish. Day after day that crippled man was set right before the door of the great temple as the most prominent religious leaders in the nation walked right by him and his legs remained as lifeless as they had been the day before; until Your Spirit raised him up at the word of two of the most unlikely men in the entire assembly.
Perhaps, Lord God, it is the last words of this verse which bring the most conviction. Because after the miracle of the crippled man leaping up and walking and the untrained fishermen preaching boldly in the temple to the astonishment of the religious leaders of the Sanhedrin, it is said that those present took note that these men had been with Jesus. Their words and their actions did not reflect their own “glory” but pointed squarely to the One Who had sent them: You, Lord Jesus. Are those whom I encounter in my own day-to-day life taking note that I have spent time with Jesus? Are they hearing my words and seeing my actions and praising my Heavenly Father? Or do I even look and sound like I have spent much time with You at all?
Lord, let my life be so lived that others may examine it and take note that I have been with Jesus. Let my own words and actions be saturated with a holy courage, causing others to be “astonished” that the power of God can work through even the feeblest of instruments. Let me sit and learn at the feet of the Master and enable me to proclaim with boldness those things which I shall hear there.
In the name of Jesus I pray,