"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."
Do you ever feel inadequate or far from qualified for the task set before you? We all fall into this one at some point. Some one asks us to do something, and we like to step back, putting up our hands defensively and going on, reading out of our book of excuses why we can't do it. I do it myself all the time. We feel inadequate. We don't qualify. We don't have the talents, skill, or abilities. We know someone else who would be much better suited for the position. WHY ME?!!!
So when I read this verse this week, I took fresh courage. When Jesus chose His disciples, He chose ordinary people. Ordinary people, living ordinary lives, to serve an extraordinary God, and thus do extraordinary things. Fishermen. Not incredibly remarkable individuals, not particularly educated and intelligent...just ordinary people. I take fresh courage in that. Possibly God wants to show Himself strong in my weaknesses. Not possibly; I know He does.
God uses ordinary people, the unqualified, the inadequate. He doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He takes our fears and failures and uses them for His honour and glory. But we can't do it ourselves; it has to be God's working in and through us. Peter spoke, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and thousands were added to the church. He couldn't have done it himself.
And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
Even this Pharisee, Gamaliel, recognized that men's work comes to nought, but God's work will always prosper. It cannot be overthrown. Does that mean we won't ever face opposition when God calls us to do something? No. Jesus tells us that we will face opposition, but it will prosper.
Sorry, I hardly know how to put my thoughts into words. I hope that made some sense. Blessings!