Acts 4:13 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.
What is the difference between ordinary and astonishing? Normally, the ordinary blend in and extraordinary stand out, but what stands out? What stood out in the eyes of these religious leaders was courage and intelligence they had seen before, in Jesus. Peter and John were operating more like Jesus than ordinary, unschooled men. The Holy Spirit living in them and moving through them had fundamentally transformed ordinary into astonishing.
Astonishing is often in the eyes of the beholder. What seems ordinary to one may seem completely astounding to another. This ambiguity of definition can cause a lot of grief in people searching for validation. The very human search for significance can disintegrate into the pursuit of compliments, admiration and recognition? Peter and John were not looking for any of these when they chose to live what Jesus taught them.
Their courage and intelligence in the face scrutiny is what stood out to the leaders they were facing. In fact, these officials saw the one person they could not oppress shining through in Peter and John, Jesus. The disciples didn’t disrespect the authority in front of them or dishonor the path behind them as they stood for what they believed in. Their behavior and speech are what astonished the leaders attempting to oppress them. America can learn a great deal from this biblical, 24-hour interaction between ordinary, astonishing people and those in authority.
How do you respond in an environment where your beliefs are called into question?
When you disagree, do you resort to disrespect, gossip or belittling of those you disagree with or do you courageously and intelligently display the power of the Holy Spirit through your words and actions?
30 Days Toward Greater Faith
4. Ordinary and Astonishing - Acts 4