“When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13 (CSB)
Spending time with a man who was dead and then resurrected has a way of changing you. It gives you confidence in a way that transcends your training or qualifications. We may not have walked face-to-face with Jesus but we have the same opportunity to spend time with the living Savior. We have been united with him in his death, burial, and resurrection. The question is, would the people around us know that we have been with Jesus?
In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) – Acts 1:15 (ESV)
It started with a Jewish carpenter from a dusty town called Nazareth. His life, death, and resurrection proved that he was exactly who he claimed to be – God in the flesh. From 120 to over 2 billion professing believers today. It’s not logical. It’s not because of marketing. It’s not because the becoming a Christian made life easy. It’s because Jesus said, “I will build my church.” Through the Spirit, the early church withstood every opposition brought against it. The church multiplied and spread throughout the world. And now, almost 2,000 years later, here we are.
As I’ve mentioned before, it bothers me when pastors and leaders expect absolute loyalty from those they lead. Loyalty is something earned as people begin to trust you. It’s not something you can demand without eroding the relationship. Furthermore, honest dialog is not a sign that people are “haters” or that they don’t think you are a good leader. It might be that their disagreement is providential.
Paul and Barnabas didn’t agree over who should join them on their missionary endeavors. They parted ways and it led to the spread of the gospel. Not all disagreement is rooted in selfish motives and behaviors. Leaders need to keep that in mind the next time they are tempted to dismiss someone who doesn’t agree with their ideas.