Yesterday we read about Peter and John healing a lame man in the temple. Having healed him they remained in the temple and took the opportunity to preach the Good News of Jesus’s resurrection and all that it could mean for the people’s salvation. However they were confronted and arrested due to their testimony of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead. Resurrection went against the beliefs of the Saducees. The next day, in response to his questioning, we see Paul’s first response in the passage below. These are the things I think are important to notice. Firstly, Paul is filled with the spirit when he speaks. Secondly, he asks if he is on trial for the good act of healing. Thirdly, he immediately states his claim that the name of Jesus is what healed the man. And fourthly, he shamelessly and fearlessly says what he knows is true, that although the very people questioning him at that moment had crucified Jesus, God himself, had raised Jesus from the dead.
Acts 4:8-14 NLT
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the scriptures, where it says,
‘ the stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the scriptures. They also recognised them as men who had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say.
My goal is to pray for the boldness that comes with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the spirit gave Peter and John both courage and authority. The learned members of the council, who were questioning the two of them, could clearly see that they were just ordinary men. But they knew that these ordinary men had been with Jesus and now, here they were, with incredible powers of healing, preaching confidently and powerfully. Faced with this miraculous act of healing, and the boldness and authority of their honest and simple explanation, the council could say nothing against Peter and John. They were rendered powerless in the face of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
1 Kings 1:1-53, Acts 4:1-37, Psalms 124:1-8, Proverbs 16:24