The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
Ordinary men, with no special training…but they had been with Jesus. These were the words spoken about Peter and John, two of Jesus’ apostles, after they boldly proclaimed the truth about Jesus in public. Actually, all of Jesus’ apostles probably fit into the category of ordinary and unskilled men. There were fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot, and a thief among their ranks – none fit to teach and lead by the standards of their day. But something was different about them. The Scripture tells us plainly what the difference was – they had been with Jesus. I would bet those apostles had no clue what Jesus had in store for them, but being with Jesus changed everything for these 12 unsuspecting men.
The three years the apostles spent with Jesus was a huge growing season for them. In that time they traveled, ate, laughed, listened, watched, learned, served, healed, and loved right alongside Jesus. All the while Jesus was cultivating in them who God had created them to be – people who would carry God’s love and His story of redemption into the world by the words they spoke and the things they would do. But it would all begin simply because “they had been with Jesus.”
It could be easy to run past the apostles’ humble beginnings to the great things they were called to and went on to do. But this week, as we take a peek at the apostles and how God would grow them and then ask them to go, let’s start at the beginning with who they were with…Jesus. It was the difference for them. And it’s the difference for us, too, between a story about some good people who maybe did some good things OR a story about some people who have been radically changed and who dramatically affected the world because of who they have been with.