“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” —Acts 1:8
As we observe Jesus’s ministry throughout the Gospels, what we notice is that His ministry is one of simplicity. The disciples were not the powerful or the influential, nor the wise and educated. Many of them were actually from the despised parts of New Testament Israel. Even in the book of Acts, the apostles themselves were small in number, just about 120 followers of Jesus in the upper room devoting themselves to prayer and waiting for the Day of Pentecost. Yet, what started out small began to spread, not in the flashy empire way, but the subversive and simple way. After the Day of Pentecost, what we see throughout the rest of the New Testament is the gospel started to spread from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
Paul reveals what the average Christian was like in the city of Corinth. He writes, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:26-27).
Paul goes on a few chapters later to describe the leadership of the apostles: “For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings….We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment” (1 Corinthians 4:9, 13). The life of an apostle was not glamourous.
Nonetheless, this small band of Jesus followers dedicated their lives to Christ. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, they were the very means through which Jesus spread the message of the kingdom to the known world. It is believed that virtually all of the apostles, with the exception of John, were martyred for their faith. The apostles were not the wise and educated, but the humble and the obedient. They were ordinary folks like us whom God made extraordinary by His Spirit at work within them. God is the One who brought the “extra” to their ordinariness.
God does not need our abilities to reach where we live, but He will use our availability. May we realize that the power of our message does not come from ourselves, but the Spirit of God who transforms us from ordinary folks into extraordinary witnesses of His power.
Lord Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Spirit in me that allows me to be Your extraordinary witness to this world. Give me the boldness and courage to share Your gospel.