I love when I reread portions of scripture and verses that I paid no attention to the first time around pop out. I either think, “Oh, wow!” or “Duh!” It was the former in this case as I read Acts 4.
We all know about Acts. The Church was doing amazing things for the Kingdom, and it gives us a model for what the body of Christ should be doing. Signs and wonders were happening everywhere. In fact, the Bible says that Paul, actually he was still called Saul at that point, was proving Jesus everywhere he went (Acts 9:22). This makes me ask, are we proving Jesus everywhere we go? Are signs and wonders happening everywhere we go? After all, Jesus did say that we would do even greater things than He did (John 14:12) and we do have the Kingdom of God within us (Luke 17:21). Are we letting it out and bringing the Kingdom of God to the world around us?
I will be the first to admit that Jesus is probably not being proved by me nor is the Kingdom of God flowing out of me into the world around me. *Gasp* But it’s true. I would not be written as a monumental character if someone was writing the Modern Book of Acts. I’m shy. I have mastered one skill I can’t put on my resume- word vomit. I hardly remember specific chapters and verses. I overthink literally everything. But this is the whole point of this post, so please, keep reading.
Let’s take a closer look at the word ‘prove’. Google defines it as, “demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument.” To prove something is to show it in a way that it cannot be disputed because the evidence is there. The evidence was demonstrated. Signs and wonders.
In Acts 3, Peter had just healed the lame man, and he and John went into the temple and Peter began to preach Jesus. In the beginning of Acts 4, they end up getting arrested, Peter tells the council about the Name of Jesus, then they end up forbidding the Name of Jesus, but then let them go because they saw that the miracle had been performed, and the people glorified God (Jesus, proved).
I read this story many times before, but I had an “Oh. My. Goodness.” moment when I read verse thirteen:
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13
Remember what I said about me not proving Jesus? Well, this verse hit me like a ton of bricks.
Peter and John were uneducated and untrained. I never knew this. I mean, after everything they said and did, I would have never thought them to be uneducated, much less untrained. But these characteristics did not stop them from preaching Jesus. They still spoke up and they still did Kingdom work.
Peter and John were bold. Other translations say the council was amazed by their courage or confidence. Nonetheless, they were not timid or fearful. They took risks. They did not care about what qualifications they did or didn’t have.
Peter and John had been with Jesus. They knew Jesus personally. They walked with Jesus. They talked with Jesus. They knew the heart and will of Jesus. I know that this verse refers to them being recognized as having physically been with Jesus, but the point still stands. They spent time with Jesus and got to know Him personally.
I tend to complicate my Christianity, which leads to the fear. This is not of God. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). Plain and simple. As Paul Tillich said, “Fear is the absence of faith”. If there is fear there is a lack of faith, and faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the word.
It doesn’t matter what qualifications we have or don’t have. If we spend time with Jesus, and take a bold step of faith, we will change our world. We will prove Jesus everywhere we go.