Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 ESV
The disciples of Jesus, Peter and John were both fisherman by trade and they came from a small city that had little economic or cultural significance.
Paul, although theologically trained, was a tent maker.
Matthew was a tax collector.
Onesimus was a run away slave.
Cornelius was a soldier.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Moses was a murderer.
David was a conspiring adulterer.
The list goes on and on. Yet, all of these experienced a sense of Kingdom greatness because of grace.
Peter and John tell others what they have seen, heard and experienced . . . they are confident, not condemning. They are not only identified as being with Jesus . . . they are impacted, influenced and inspired by Jesus.
This brand of authenticity, boldness and courage becomes the new “ABC’s” of following God. It isn’t education . . . it’s experience with Jesus. It isn’t a position, it is His presence. It isn’t sitting at the feet of an educator, it’s sitting at the feet of The Master Teacher.
These “uneducated, common men” astonish the traditionalists of the day because they accept the truth of Jesus.
Jesus Changes. Paul writes to the Christ-followers in Corinth, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor 5:17 NLT) We are no longer in chains, we change. We are free from our past and penalties of sin. We are given a promise and peace through our pain and problems. Jesus says, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36 NLT) Roy T. Bennett writes, “Never let hard lessons harden your heart; the hard lessons of life are meant to make you better, not bitter.”
Jesus Challenges. A life changed by Jesus challenges the culture . . . with compassion, not condemnation. It’s triumph, not timidity. It’s hope, not hopelessness. We are light to the darkness and salt to the tasteless. Martin Luther King, Jr., reminds us, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matt 5:15-16 NLT). Light illuminates the way. Salt infuses flavor so others can “taste and see that The Lord is good”. (Ps 34:8)
Sunday Adelaja, Founder and Senior Pastor of Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations, in Kiev, Ukraine, writes, “Living in the Glory of God’s presence is to extend his domain of love”
Instead of a fisherman, tent maker, or tax collector, you may be an executive, small business owner, salesman, educator, barista, stay-at-home mom, coach, virtual employee or service provider. We all experience Kingdom greatness and grace . . . not because of prominence, position, power or paycheck . . . but, because we have been in the presence of our God.
This is a day of tender boldness, of truthful bravery and of letting others know that you have truly been with Jesus.
He defines each of us as a destiny maker . . . by changing us and challenging us.