NewLife Anglican / Pastors Blog / Degrees vs Apprentices – Acts 4
04 AUGUST 2021

Degrees vs Apprentices – Acts 4

How much do we value education? I remember (pre ministry) one of my days was spent helping HR sift through a desk of resumes for a graduate position. We were asked to look for the number on their HSC (back when that was a thing) and their grade average in their uni degree. Fail to meet the numbers – end up in the bin! It was brutal. This was judging by the numbers at its worst.

In contrast, have you ever met someone with spiritual maturity? Someone that you can immediately sense the work of God in? Someone who carries themselves as one who has walked with the Lord? Such people carry an unofficial spiritual authority which cannot be earned through a course but is won through a life of dependence on God Himself. Such maturity is instantly recognisable.

That’s what we’re seeing in Acts 4 (amongst so many other things!) – a battle between the degrees and the apprentices. Those who’ve done the book work and those who’ve walked with the Son of Man.

This chapter is the mopping up operation after the outstanding miracle in the temple that we saw yesterday. We note along the way that man was over 40 years old (vs22)! The learned leaders of Israel are debating what to do with Peter and John and are looking down on them as rural fishermen. Then we get a wonderful statement of truth and an incredible reflection on the men themselves as they are pressed to explain how this miracle happened;

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:12–13 NIV11)

Their distinguishing feature was that they had courage in this very intimidating setting. Their disadvantage was that they lacked degrees or outstanding characteristics. All of this added together blew the Sanhedrin away (they were astonished) and they noted that the only explanation for this boldness and wisdom was their association with Jesus.

You can’t cheat this. Walking with Jesus and knowing Him results in real deal Christians. 

Unschooled? Ordinary? Sign up for the Jesus apprenticeship. 

Are you smart and learned too? Great! Lots of famous saints and writers of the past were up there with the best and brightest of their generations but they aren’t known today because they passed their degrees – but because of how they put that learning to use honouring and glorifying their Lord and Saviour.

So whatever our education, let’s keep walking with Jesus and pointing people to the only name under heaven by which we may be saved.

“Dear Lord, we thank You that You are able to transform the ordinary and the mundane into courageous apprentices. Help us to know You through prayer and Your Word so that we might grow into spiritual maturity – rich in faith, warm in love, bold in proclaiming, wise in application. Have mercy and do Your work by the transforming and empowering presence of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Grace and peace,


#newlifeisfoundhere #readingfornewlife #acts

About The Author

Follower of Jesus, husband, dad, cyclist, photographer, and Lead Pastor. Keen to see new life in Jesus come to every home. Thankful for those partnering in doing that here at NewLife.