Now when they (the Council) 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.
How our world & culture measure value, potential, and ‘specialness’ in people is largely based on brains, brawn, looks, & special abilities. This type of thinking & evaluating can find its way into the church as well – it can sound a little like:
“That person is so gifted & talented! If they became a Christian, God could really do big things through them.”
By the time Jesus had chosen the disciples, they each had most likely been passed over as “not good enough” by local rabbis seeking out promising young disciples. Sure, they’d all been taught the Torah, God’s Law & the Prophets as kids, but as they grew up, each one took a job, learned a trade, or joined the family business.
And then Jesus called them to “come & follow Me.”
The disciples were chosen not because of their greatness or special abilities – Jesus chose them because they were normal. They were common, regular people, with nothing really remarkable about them.
God sees value & potential in people, not because of their natural giftings, abilities or competencies, but because He sees what we can be when we’re called by His Name, filled with the Holy Spirit “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
It’s important to keep this in mind when we ‘evaluate’ our (& others) fitness & ability to be used by the LORD. Too often, we disqualify ourselves for God’s use based upon our shortcomings, weaknesses, struggles, & inadequacies, as though God didn’t know these things about us when He called & filled us.
It’s vital for us to remember that what really matters is being with Jesus. It is impossible to be with Him & not be forever changed. May the same things that were said of Peter & John, be said about us – “they seem normal enough, & there’s really nothing special about them… it must be Jesus.”
Great book resource: Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus – by Spangler & Tverberg