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God Uses Unschooled Ordinary People

Have you ever noticed that when Jesus gathered twelve disciples, He didn’t go to the Yeshiva’s of Jerusalem the Bible schools of the day? He gathered normal uneducated people like you and me, well, me anyway! After the outpouring of the Spirit, the apostles and first 3,000 disciples met in large gatherings of 3-5 thousand up in the temple courts, which was where Peter and John were going when the crippled beggar was healed in Acts 3:1. They also gathered in home groups where they shared their food and broke bread celebrating the Lord's Supper. Jude called them love feasts (Jude, verse 12). I don't believe that an apostle, or a full-time Christian leader ever led the Lord’s Supper in those gatherings. I picture it happening in their homes in a straightforward way; the leader of a house group of people would break the bread just as the head of the household used to do on the Shabbat (Sabbath) on Friday evening, proclaiming the blessing over the bread.

We tend to look at the New Testament and view the 12 apostles as supermen. That was not the view of the residents of Jerusalem in the early days after the resurrection of Jesus. After the Holy Spirit came and Peter and John were used in the healing of the disabled beggar at the gate called Beautiful, the religious elite were baffled as they considered the two fishermen:

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 (Acts 4:13).

The leaders of Israel believed that spiritual power came as a result of intellect and head knowledge, but in God's economy, those things are not as impressive to God as they are to us. The Lord is looking for faith. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not decrying seminary training and Bible school; we need men who are well trained and who can teach the Scriptures with clarity and understanding. Christ found his 12 disciples in fishing boats, toll booths, and other regular occupations. When the leaders of Jerusalem heard of the miracle of the crippled man healed, they couldn't believe these things were happening at the hands of ordinary, uneducated men. They checked out the local Bible schools and seminaries of their day and the 12 apostles were not listed among those listed in the “Who’s Who” of the synagogue. The early disciples would have been voted the least likely to succeed by the religious authorities of their day. However, in spite of their lack of background and education, these men were so transformed merely by being with Jesus that their acts reminded the people of Christ. The people took note that these men had been with Jesus.

In the same way, when we live our lives in relationship with Christ, relying on His abilities at work in us, people will also take note that we have been with Jesus. I love to be among people that walk with Jesus; it shows on their faces and in their character too. The Scriptures say that these early believers “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, King James Version). Such was the testimony of those filled, led and empowered by the Spirit of God; even their enemies acknowledged the fact that they were world changers. With this in mind, none of us have any reason to think that we cannot be used by God. What’s needed is simple faith in God and a knowledge of Christ and what He has done for us. Those are the things that really count in walking in tune with the Spirit of God. Without faith, it is impossible for us to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Keith Thomas

Shortened from the study, God Uses Ordinary Believers in the series On Fire with the Spirit


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