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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Basic

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Acts 4:13 ESV


That’s so basic (note: it’s not a compliment.)


I have to admit this one surprised me a little. It made me wonder how baby boomers view basic or ordinary. For myself, I’ve always thought that God gives every person special characteristics.


I’ve known highly educated men and women who were/are gifted physicians, dentists, and educators.


I’ve known uneducated men and women who were genius craftsmen or salesmen.


A lot of women in my family are gifted seamstresses and quilters, and their baking skills were on par with any chef. My great grandmothers make suburb scratch Angel Food cakes without an electric mixer. My grandmother had a mixer (of sorts) and she won contests with her Angel Food cakes. My mother not only baked great cakes, she decorated them. She did many many wedding cakes.


They were anything but basic.


None of them went to college. It just wasn’t something ordinary at that time.


By the time I graduated from high school it was more common for women to be able to choose to go to work or to go to college. I have always loved school and learning new things, so I chose to go to college.


I am a reader more than a baker. I can bake a cake but not like the women in my family.


Because I’d always been “bookish” no one was surprised. I thought summer vacation gave me time to read more. While other boys and girls were riding bikes, playing ball, or playing games outside, I was reading.


Even in first grade I read more books than everyone.


I considered it a privilege.


That didn’t make me better…just different.


Acts 4:13 tells us, “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.”


When it came time for Jesus to form His inner circle, He did choose a few who were educated, but the number of uneducated (considered to be ordinary or basic) disciples far outnumbered those who were educated.


Actually all of the disciples went to school to learn Hebrew basics. Jewish boys went to school for as long as they excelled.


Then they learned a trade.


Most of the disciples were fishermen.


Matthew had been a tax collector and he was more educated. The Apostle Paul was highly educated and he was a Pharisee.


But here’s the thing. Jesus chose every disciple based on a specific criteria. Jesus knew who they would be after he was gone. Jesus knew exactly which way they would go and how they would scatter. He knew they would be great evangelists who would spread the gospel message.


So while they appeared to be basic on the outside, they were not ordinary men.


They were all called by God to a specific task in the world.


Jesus helped them to understand how to make “fishing” important. In Matthew 4:19 Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”


We know from Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


In Acts 8:4 we are told, “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.“


There was certainly nothing “basic” about the disciples. They were considered to be ordinary men who, by the power of Jesus were given extraordinary power.


So, are we basic?


I believe we all specialize and excel in our own way.


One of my twin grandsons has cerebral palsy. His body doesn’t work the same as his brother’s body even though they are identical twins. But here’s the thing…he excels in different ways than his brother. He is his own kind of genius.


There is a saying that I love that has been attributed to Albert Einstein. It goes like this, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”


Everybody is a genius. Everyone is special…created in the image of God.


Special.


Spiritual Practice: How?


How are you special? Thank God for how you were make to be special.


You ARE special. If you aren’t sure how, ask God to show you how you are special.


In God, Deborah

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