Read This Week: Acts 4

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Jesus is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” 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 4:8, 11-13 NIV

The definition of being ordinary is to have “no special or exceptional quality; to be commonplace.” Ordinary is a familiar word used to describe human beings in our world. We often hear sayings, speeches, and even songs proclaiming that we are just moving along as ordinary people. Some even see an ordinary life as something to aspire to. If one is ordinary then they are not strange or mysterious or someone to scrutinize. Ordinary is viewed as good because ordinary is considered normal.

Even if we are not considered extraordinary by any stretch of the imagination, or as people, others have a hard time remembering our name, there is still something exceptional about us. There is someone that makes our stories quite incredible. There is someone who takes ordinary people and accomplishes extraordinary things through them. By the world’s standards, our lives can be nothing special, but when Jesus Christ enters the picture, we go to a whole new level.

This evident transformation and extraordinary power seen in the lives of ordinary believers are on full display in Acts 4. Peter and John are standing before the Sanhedrin being questioned about the miracle healing of the lame beggar. This was an official meeting for the sole purposes of examination and determining whether any religious laws had been broken.

Peter stood up, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and proclaimed the miracle healing before the Sanhedrin as a work of God through them and evidence of the resurrection power of Christ that they condemned and killed. At this point, the council was trapped. They could not deny the miracle because the once crippled man was standing in front of them, and they could not deny that Peter and John were untrained, uneducated, and ordinary men who had done something extraordinary. Verse 13 tells us that they recognized that the exceptional power came on them from someone else and that someone was Jesus:

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. 

After the incredible testimony of Peter and John, we see other examples of God’s extraordinary movement in the lives of ordinary people. We see it in verses 23-31 as the believers prayed and believed God to do His work among them. They lifted their voices in unity to declare and believe God not to make their lives better but to empower them to do his extraordinary will. Verse 31 says:

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Lastly, we see extraordinary things in community. As they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they became extraordinarily generous (vv. 32-35). In our day and age, it seems almost unbelievable to read how the early Christians cared for one another. We see that no one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. There were no needy persons among them. At any time in history, this type of love and favor toward one another can be seen as extraordinary.

Jesus always has and always will make ordinary things extraordinary for His glory. He can accomplish the extraordinary through ordinary people like us so that others will have no choice but to recognize His power and worship Him. We simply get to be a part of His amazing work.

7 Comments

  1. Kathy on October 29, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    This is what God was saying to me in Acts 4, “I want to continue to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the only way of salvation. If you are going to be made right with Me, Jesus is going to do it. People should go to Jesus directly, but they don’t, and the only Jesus they might see, shines through you.

    Be bold! Tell it all! You have no idea how greatly I can use you to further My kingdom. Pray with power and confidence, because you know I am in control. Seeing your circumstances in light of My word also means seeing when there is a sin problem inside yourself. You need to confess your sin and be made right with Me. My word will speak to your situation. You will have real peace by knowing that whatever comes your way has passed through My hands first.

    You should want to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit and immerse yourself constantly. Don’t hide My work in your life from others who will benefit from hearing about it. Your boldness is a gift from Me. Don’t wait for others to give. When a need arises, give what you can to help others in whatever way you are able.”

    What this said to me is I need to not doubt God being able to use me. Yes, I am broken and lived a life of sin, but through Jesus I am clean. He wants me to help people by sharing my story, and by letting Him use me to love on others and bringing them to Jesus. He wants me to let His light shine through me and quit trying to block the light!

    • Jason on November 3, 2020 at 9:03 am

      This is good commentary from Acts 4, Kathy. I really appreciated your reinforcement of God, by His good pleasure, using us as people to spread His message, do His work, and reveal His glory on earth. This was a strong line from your comment:

      You should want to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit and immerse yourself constantly. Don’t hide My work in your life from others who will benefit from hearing about it.

      May God fill us with His Holy Spirit every day so that we will not hide His work in our lives that will benefit others for eternity. He uses the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.

  2. Heidi on October 31, 2020 at 9:47 am

    What God put on my heart is to always remember He is with us to help, guide, and give us what we need to do for Him. He helps us know what to say when we speak up for Him. Jesus, Peter, John, and all the people who followed and hung out with Jesus got what they needed and were blessed to be taught by them. It was on the job training. We’re always in God’s school as I learned a long time ago.

    What I love in Acts 4:13 is, Peter and John were fishermen they did not go to special schools like these men in the Sanhedrin and these men knew that. They were surprised how they were bold when they spoke. They spoke with confidence, they recognized they had been with Jesus. When you hang out with Jesus He helps you. When you hang out with Jesus He teaches you, guides you, gives you what you need to do The Father’s work. So keep hanging out with Jesus because you’ll become more like Him.

    I hear God saying through Acts 4, “I love you. I do miracles all the time. When you seek Me, ask, and hang out with us, you will hear Me and know what to do and say. I am always with you to help you so keep seeking Me.”

    • Jason on November 3, 2020 at 9:15 am

      This is a tremendous message, Heidi: When you hang out with Jesus He helps you. When you hang out with Jesus He teaches you, guides you, gives you what you need to do The Father’s work. So keep hanging out with Jesus because you’ll become more like Him.

      Christians need to hear this teaching constantly and be reminded as you have here that our witness, lives, ministry, and involvement in God’s mission is underwritten and empowered by personal devotion to Him and hanging out with Jesus. It fuels us, our decisions, our service, and our ministries. It allows us to take part in the extraordinary just as the disciples did. May we hang out with Jesus so much that the world looks at our lives and recognizes that we’ve been with Him.

  3. almaschmidt on November 8, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    God gave me a song this week called, “We Believe”:

    We believe, we believe, we are believers of the Lord
    Let’s join together singing, praising, lifting our hands high
    Letting our voices be heard near and far

    We believe, we believe, we are believers of the Lord
    So come, come, come close
    God is here, ready to give us hope, joy, and love

    We are believers, we believe
    we believe in the Lord. Amen.

    Thank you, Lord, for believing in us. I believe and trust you with all of my heart. You are so amazing and I’m blessed to spend my life with you, Lord.

    • Jason on November 10, 2020 at 10:28 am

      I love this song of praise and worship, Alma. It reads like a Psalm. This was my favorite part:

      We believe, we believe, we are believers of the Lord
      So come, come, come close
      God is here, ready to give us hope, joy, and love

      May we draw close to the Lord in our daily lives and stay close to Him as we walk through the good and bad, holding strong to His truth and promises as they give us peace, hope, and joy.

      • Alma on November 10, 2020 at 10:02 pm

        Yes, Jason so True we need Jesus in this time of our country. Thanks again for your awesome encouraging words, makes me so proud to be in this ministry together.

Leave a Comment