The council was caught by surprise by the confidence with which Peter and John spoke. After all, they understood that these apostles were uneducated and inexperienced. They also recognized that they had been followers of Jesus.
I love reading about the apostles in the book of Acts these days because I’m seeing that it’s easier and easier to be like them.
I feel like church tradition has venerated or honored these people to a level that is unhelpful. They are the “founding fathers” or “the holy apostles”, when in fact, Luke records here that what they were were just simple uneducated and inexperienced people.
I wonder if the Apostles would look at all the veneration that they get and laugh from heaven because they knew something about themselves that people who venerate them don’t-that they were simple people who loved and followed Jesus.
As long as we venerate them we distance ourselves from them and what we can do in our lives. The truth is, there are no heroes in the book of Acts. It is filled with story after story of boring simple people doing simple things.
The only difference they had in their lives was that they re-oriented their ways to be full of the Holy Spirit, and to love and obey Jesus. The real hero, of course, is the Holy Spirit who dwells in all believers.
In my head, when I read Acts, I don’t even call them apostles. Every time I run across that word, I just substitute it out for the word “believer” or “disciple.” Because that’s honestly all they were. And it reminds me me that that’s exactly who I am. And if that’s exactly who I am, then there is nothing that they have done that I cannot do.
And so Acts of the first disciples, is not a book of historical veneration, where upon we read and admire these great people. No! This book is meant to, upon reading it, make us go “That’s me! I can do this too!”
If we are followers of Jesus, then the book of Acts is for us. We all have the Holy Spirit! The only question remains-can we reorient our lives as the first disciples did to the Holy Spirit, so as to see the world around them the way the Spirit sees it, and so do as the Spirit would do?
If we do, I’m sure that we would write our own acts of [insert your name here]!