Now when they 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.

Acts 4: 13

There was something that was much bigger than the words or than the actions that Peter and John had demonstrated. They had a form of confidence that comes from a place deep within. They also exhibited a depth of compassion that exceeded all that the world around them would have considered to be reasonable or even rational. These rather rustic men who would have been much more comfortable in a discussion about handling commercial fishing gear and about the winds on the lake than they were in conversing about theological matters were carrying on a powerful dialogue about God with the primary keepers of all national religious practice. What was truly striking in this situation was that they were winning the audience.

Peter and John were remarkable for their ordinariness. There was nothing except perhaps the still faint aroma of the fish that would have distinguished them from other less educated working-class people of their world. Yet, they were having a miraculous effect on people. They were healing people. Certainly there were instances where the physical ailments that had disabled lives were cured, and this was a powerful work that Peter and John attributed to Christ. However, there were far more people who witnessed the profound truth that came from their mouths and the absolute love that they poured out on all, and these audiences were drawn to the inescapable fact that they were encountering God. These simple men had the confidence of their faith and the boldness that was required to take the truth of the Christ into the presence of His most strident adversaries. Still, they spoke with the love of the Father when facing the animosity of Hell.

These fishermen could have been farmers or store workers. They could have been engineers, secretaries, writers, or lawyers. The knowledge and the understanding of God that they possessed on their own were minimal and incomplete. Yet, the words that they needed for the debate were always there. The ideas that the situation required were granted to them. In Christ, they never failed to have the wisdom to engage the need that was before them. When all that was logical in their minds tried to tell them that they were not good enough or knowledgeable enough to enter into the conversation, Christ provided them with the courage and the strength to do it regardless. As we follow the model of these fishermen and humble ourselves before Christ, boldness becomes simple obedience and people will see Jesus alive and engaged in our world.