The ruling council of the Jews has arrested Peter and John because of their inflammatory preaching in the temple after healing a lame man. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished”(Acts 4:13). How could such ordinary men speak so forcefully about Jesus, quoting the Psalms and applying them to the present day? “And they recognized that they had been with Jesus”(Acts 4:13). These are not secondhand disciples who heard the story from others. They know what they are talking about.
There is another complicating factor. “But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition”(Acts 4:14). They cannot even deny that there has been a miracle or that the reports are exaggerated. This leaves them oddly speechless. “What shall we do with these men?”(Acts 4:16). This is an undeniable miracle and something strange is afoot. They opt to threaten them to stop the spread of this message, assuming that Peter and John will be cowed into submission. They miscalculate badly.
Peter and John are new men. They have been transformed by their time with Jesus and the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Radiating out from Jesus is this thread of renewal, healing, boldness, and empowerment. It spreads to Peter and John—and from them to the lame man—and is soon to spread much farther. The kingdom of God is advancing, even when powerful men stand in the way.
------------- One Thing to Think About: How have I seen God empower humble people?
One Thing to Pray For: Deeper respect for the change Jesus can bring
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Fairview Park church of Christ, 11820 Fairview Road, Little Rock, AR 72212
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