“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.
This Bible passage was written right after Peter and John healed the crippled man outside the temple. The Bible tells us that Peter and John were looked at as unschooled, ordinary men. What set them apart is that they were known to be with Jesus during His earthly ministry. What set them apart is that they spent time with Jesus.
When we read the accounts of the Apostles, it is easy to think because they spent time with Jesus that they are superheroes. We put them on a pedestal, one step down from Jesus Himself. However the reality of it was that they were a bunch of average people who spent time with Jesus and it changed their lives. They were not Christian superstars. When we really begin to look honestly at some of the people in the Bible and take them down off the stained-glass windows, it becomes obvious that God did extraordinary things through such ordinary, regular people. We seem to think that God will only use superstars. That ordinary people are really not all that important. Well nothing is farther from the truth. There are only ordinary people serving an extraordinary God.
Many people want to be successful, but they are not willing to do what is necessary to obtain success. Most managers will tell you that they need willing and able people. You’ve got to be willing to be successful. On the other hand, if they are not willing and able they will most likely put pressure on the organization and its workforce. God wants people who are willing and available as well. That is exactly what Isaiah said: “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land.”
Over my years as pastor I have noticed that those who carry the greatest loads are also the ones who seem to be the most blessed. Why? One of the reasons is because they are willing. Once Jesus’ disciples were arguing with one another about who would have a place of prominence with Him. Jesus answered them, “and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else.” (Mark 10:44). When you have a willingness of mind to be servant to all, and you make yourself available, then you are going to carry the heaviest loads. So even though they are normal human beings, God did some extraordinary things in their lives.
If you are willing and available, God can and will use you in powerful ways. To me, that is the point of being a hero. It is not about us. It is not about our ability. It is not about how successful we are. It is about ordinary people trusting the outcome of our life and our service to an extraordinary God. “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” (John 15:16)
- Do you believe that God can do great things – impossible things – through your life too? Why or why not?
- Think of a moment in a movie or book you love when the hero is called to give up everything for the sake of the thing she most wants. As you’ve followed Jesus He’s repeatedly asked you to give things up. What’s been one of the hardest things you’ve sacrificed in following Christ and taking up your cross?
- Do you struggle with fear? Do you feel like fear sometimes keeps you from the adventures God has for you?
- A hero brings new energy, perspective, awareness, confidence, joy, etc. What can we bring new to our relationship with God this week?