The Following Article is written by Kyle Shreve, graduate of the Our Generation Training Center.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
This verse is extremely ironic.
On one hand, you have men who are called “unlearned and ignorant” but then they are known as men who “had been with Jesus.” This is a really ironic juxtaposition.
We love to identify ourselves with these fisherman because, much like them, the majority of us are blue collar workers, and aren’t really anyone all that special. I certainly never got a masters degree in engineering, myself, nor do I have plans. When there is a matter of national emergency, my cell phone doesn’t ring, and I doubt yours does either. I, much like Peter and John, am a pretty normal guy.
We also like to identify ourselves with the fisherman because God took these seemingly normal fisherman, and did great things with them! Peter and John would go on to write scripture, preach before thousands, be used to start churches and get the gospel all over the world. And, if you are anything like me, it is very easy to get excited about those things, and envision God working in your life, and doing similar things.
But did these fisherman really jump straight from being unlearned and ignorant men to being men who turned the world upside down? My answer is no.
Because if you took the men from Matthew 4, and put them straight to Acts 4, I have no idea how they would have done. Because to think that the men in Matthew 4 and the men in Acts 4 were anywhere near the same men would be a huge mistake.
We love to think that, because God did great things with unlearned men, he will do great things with us, too. And He can! But to jump from Matthew 4 to Acts 4 leaves out a HUGE part of the story.
Because, in a lot of ways, these men really weren’t unlearned or ignorant.
Read that again.
They weren’t unlearned or ignorant men. In a certain way.
Sure, to the the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, Peter and John probably looked like unlearned men. But those men casting judgement on them had formal rabbinical training and learning, which Peter and John would not have had.
And I’m sure that to the great philosophical or “religious” minds of our day, we look pretty ignorant and unlearned in our own right.
So why do I think Peter and John weren’t ignorant or unlearned? Because, like that verse says “they had been with Jesus.”
Granted, from a Sadducee’s point of view, they probably DID look ignorant. But when it came to knowing how to do the ministry, having received training by spending somewhere around 3 years with Jesus, they certainly weren’t ignorant or unlearned. These were men who had spent much time with God Himself, and learned to do things form Him. That’s not what I would call ignorant or unlearned.
In a sense of formal education, they were ignorant and unlearned.
In a sense of having been trained in how to do the ministry, they were extremely well educated and learned.
And this is where I make my plea to you. If you are interested in doing something for God (pastoring, being a missionary, or if you’re just not sure where, but you know you want to serve the Lord in ministry) I implore you to get some training.
Without the training from Jesus, I highly, highly doubt the men from Matthew 4 ever make it to be the men of Acts 4. I’m positive they wouldn’t have made it. But with the proper training, God did some wonderful and amazing things in their life. And it will not be possible for you to reach your fullest potential without some training and mentoring as well.
The Our Generation Training Center in Alpharetta, GA is a wonderful place to go and get some training. The training you will receive there is practical, needed, and aimed specifically at being a missionary/in the full time ministry. Classes are taught by veteran missionaries, and the church staff.
You will get to spend time with pastor (and veteran missionary of 20+ years) Austin Gardner, and access to a team of men who are on the front lines of missions all over the world.
If you are interested in serving the Lord in ministry or missions, and want to serve to your fullest potential, I implore you, I beg you, to come check out the training center and see about getting some real training and mentoring.
It may just help you move from your Matthew 4 to you Acts 4