The other day I went to a particular establishment located in a wealthy area of Melbourne. My intention was to get past the front desk for a meeting – but as soon as I walked in I faced my first hurdle, as I was politely stopped by the receptionist and asked what I was there for.
As I began to explain myself in some detail, the person I was there to meet suddenly appeared and waved me through. In an instant the information I was giving her became obsolete, as it was no longer what I knew but who I knew that gave me what I needed to enter in.
Peter and John had been arrested for preaching and healing a man who was crippled for 40 years. They were threatened by the most powerful men in Israel, yet they remained courageous and steadfast in their devotion to Jesus and the purposes of God.
This was in total contrast to the timid and fearful demeanour they displayed at the time of Jesus arrest , when they fled and hid from the very people who were now interrogating them. These interrogators began to wonder where this courage had come from:
‘When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus’ – Acts 4:13
The conclusion they reached is that it wasn’t what they knew, but Who they knew that made all the difference.
Peter and John had spent the last three years with Jesus who despite countless threats and intimidations, understood that He was ultimately safe in the hands of God, that and man could do nothing to prevent the purposes of God from prevailing.
Although training and education will always help a person harness their gifting and lift them to a greater capacity, nothing will ever replace the raw courage that comes from spending time with Jesus. Even the most educated person will never reach their potential if they lack the courage they need to overcome intimidation and fear.
However even the most uneducated or ill-equipped person can overcome even the greatest hurdles as they are filled with the courage that comes through spending time with Jesus!