Jessica Albritton, NextGen Minister LHBC

Acts 4:8-13
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well.11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 

During my time in New Orleans I worked for Dr. Jackson planning events at the Youth Ministry Institute. When I first started working there I felt like a kid who had been thrown in the deep end without floaties. I had never done anything like it before and felt immense pressure to measure up to all the admins who had worked there before me. I asked Dr. Jackson SO MANY questions. One day, about 3 weeks into the job, after asking him another question yet again he looked at me and asked, “What would you do if you had to make the call?” I stumbled around my words and spat out a hesitant answer. He responded, “Good. Do it.” Shocked, I turned around and walked to the door. On my way out he called my name and said something I will never forget. He said, “If I didn’t trust you to do the job I wouldn’t have hired you. Now go do it and don’t look back.” 

I would love to say that I immediately had the confidence to do that job to the best of my ability but the truth is it took time. What I can say is the more time I spent at YMI and with Dr. Jackson the more I began to make decisions that mirrored his vision and the more confidence I cultivated to get the job done. Three years later when it was time to leave my position at YMI my hesitance had been replaced with boldness because of the time I spent there.  

When I read Acts chapter 4 I always think back to my time at YMI. Verse 13 states the religious leaders perceived Peter and John as “uneducated, common men” yet they were astonished at their boldness. That phrase “uneducated, or common men” can be interpreted as unschooled or ordinary. These men were not as educated as the leaders standing before them, but even still they preached boldly the gospel of Jesus. 

I think it’s important to note that Peter and John were standing before the religious leaders in chains. They had been arrested for proclaiming the gospel and were demanded to stop preaching of Jesus’ resurrection. But instead of cowering away in fear they took the opportunity to share that message with those that had the ability to throw them in jail or even worse, condemn them to death! Their boldness here is undeniable and quite frankly unexpected. So what made them bold? It was their time spent with Jesus. 

What Peter and John lacked in religious education they made up for in the time they had spent with Jesus. They had been with Jesus. That word within the original language refers to a person in partnership with another. The partnership Peter and John had with Jesus gave them the boldness to stand before the highest ranked religious leaders of that day and boldly preach the good news of the gospel.  

When we have truly been with Jesus we have boldness to share Him with others. Sharing Jesus with others boldly doesn’t come with the prerequisite of having all the answers, the only requirement necessary is the one of being with Jesus. Simply put, if you know enough of the gospel to be saved by it you know enough of the gospel to share it. 

Do people recognize that you’ve been with Jesus? Spend time with Jesus today and be filled with boldness from Him to share the good news of the gospel with those around you! 

Heavenly Father, help me not to use my lack of knowledge as an excuse to not share the good news of your death, burial, and resurrection with those around me! Lord, fill me with boldness through my time spent with you to share the same message of the gospel that saved me with those that don’t know you. In Jesus name, amen!

1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.