Ordinary Men

In the back of our minds we all like to think that when the time comes, we would take the initiative and do some- thing beyond ourselves. Strength, zeal, and wisdom would all come together at the snap of our fingers and we would turn defeat into victory. Ordinary people doing the extra- ordinary. Those words could be used to describe the apostles of the Bible. Four of them fisherman, one a tax collector, all of them regular people living and working in a turbulent time, a time made more extra-ordinary by the appearance of Jesus. Something drew these ordinary men to follow Jesus, listening to his teaching, witnessing his miracles and watching his daily life. They didn’t always fathom who it was they followed, or understand his teaching, but they committed themselves wholeheartedly. Once, Peter told Jesus, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison and to death. Jesus answered, The cock shall not crow this day before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. (Luke 22:33-34) No matter what Peter thought he would do, inside he was still the same, ordinary man. After the Crucifixion and resurrection, we find them all huddled together, not knowing what to do, afraid to show their faces, fearing persecution. Then came the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit and Peter and the others went out, boldly preaching, pointing their fingers at those who crucified the Lord’s Christ. (Acts 2:36) The establishment was mystified by them. When they saw the boldness of Peter & John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled. (Acts 4:13) Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they rose above themselves and stood boldly in front of the very council that had put Jesus to death. The sad reality for us is that, when our moment for action comes, instead of meeting the challenge head-on, most of us will react true to our already established natures. But there is power to change. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things become new. (2 Cor. 5:17) We can do things that can make a difference, but the real power to do so comes from Jesus Christ. The apostles were ordinary men. So are you and I.

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