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.
After Jesus had died and resurrected, Peter and John were questioned by the rulers, elders, and teachers of the day in Jerusalem about the healing of a cripple: By what power or what name did you do this? (Acts 4:7) Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, boldly declared that it was by the name of Jesus Christ that the man had been healed. Peter could have made his point and stopped there.
He would have been faithful to God and proved that he was courageous. But Peter decided to go one step further and declare that it was by the name of Jesus the man was healed and that it was this same Jesus whom they had crucified! Talk about courage. He simply added fuel to the fire of their rage.
Just hearing the name of Jesus sent them into orbit, but to be blamed for His death must have been over the top for them. When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled ordinary men, they were astonished! The next statement of Scripture could easily go unnoticed, but it is one of the most profound statements in the Holy Scriptures. The chief priests and Sadducees took note that Peter and John had been with Jesus. They knew right then that these unschooled ordinary men were extraordinary, bold and courageous because they had been with Jesus.
As ordinary people, we are transformed when we spend time with Jesus. In close relationship with Jesus, we exchange our “ordinariness” with men and women filled with the Holy Spirit, empowered with courage and boldness to live for Christ. Jesus has a plan for your life, and as you live in close relationship with Him, He will empower you to live boldly for Him.
Peter and John were told to no longer preach in the name of Jesus, and they replied: Judge for yourselves if it is right to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. (vv.19-20)
When you start to think that you are just an ordinary person unable to make a difference in this world, remember Peter and John and how time spent with Jesus empowered them to spark a fire for Christ all over the world. When you spend time with Jesus, He will pour His very life into you.
I pray that I will be in union with Christ as the vine is to the branches. May my life be spent in union with You so that I might do extraordinary things in Your name.
In Jesus’ name, Amen