“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.”
People are always looking for the difference maker. The athlete is always looking for that one thing that will help them to excel above the rest. The financial advisor is looking for the one tip that will set them apart from all the other advisors. The dietician is always looking for the one diet that is better than all the other diets. No matter what area of life you may look into, there is always someone who is looking to be the difference maker in that field.
The desire to be the difference maker is no different in the spiritual world. Preachers and ministry workers are constantly looking for the one idea or method that will be the difference maker in their ministry. They are looking for that one thing that will cause their ministry to rise above the rest. They go to conferences of all sorts and read books by many spiritual leaders in search for the difference maker in their ministry.
What is the difference maker? The answer is found in the verse above when it says about Peter and John that when they learned “that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” It was very obvious that the difference maker was not their education or an association, but spending time with Jesus made them different. Spending time with Jesus gave them the boldness to speak with authority. Spending time with Jesus is what helped them to speak in a learned fashion.
My friend, you can look to all other places to find the difference maker in your ministry and life, but the answer to making a difference has always been and will always be spending time with Jesus. There is certainly nothing wrong with getting an education, but many educated people have never made a difference in their world. There is nothing wrong with having the right associations, being involved in an organization or identifying with a certain crowd, but that is not what makes the difference in the lives of individuals. Spending time with Jesus is the only thing that will help you make a difference in the lives of others.
The reason that the difference maker is spending time with Jesus is because He is the One Who gives you the authority to teach and preach His Word. He alone gives you the power to overcome any weaknesses you may have. These men never went to college, but they spake with boldness as though they had been to college because their wisdom came from Jesus. Spending time with Jesus in His Word and prayer is what gives you boldness to speak with authority.
Could people take knowledge about you that you have been with Jesus? This is the difference maker you have been looking for. The Word of God is at your fingertips; use it! Prayer is available at any time; avail it! When you start spending time with Jesus, you won’t have to tell anyone about it for they will see the evidence. Stop trying to convince people that you spend time with Jesus and simply spend time with Him. If you do, it will come through without you having to convince others.