Day 22: Acts 4:5-12
5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
What it is about this man, Peter, which enables him to proclaim the good news of Jesus with such boldness? Who is this leader of the early church, and what is it about him that gives him the ability to see his prayers for healing answered, even for those who have been lame and handicapped since birth?
One must be careful when reading the Book of Acts. It is easy for the reader to reflect on the activities and miracles of the early church and presume that there must have been something very unique and unlike us about the leaders. As we find here with Peter in front of the Jewish leaders, Acts is less about a uniquely talented group of leaders and more about the continual work of Jesus through the Holy Spirit in the lives of a fully surrendered and participating community. We identify with the early church in that we also are collaborating with God and a Spirit-filled community to continue the work of Jesus in our time.
But how do such happenings come to pass? How was the lame man saved or made well? He was made well through the work and reality of the one who came to save us from our rebellion and enslavement to sin – Jesus.
We experience the restoration of God when we surrender and enter into a mutually faithful relationship– covenant–with Jesus, the cornerstone of the Kingdom of God, rather than rejecting his Lordship by choosing to follow ourselves.
Phil Starr | Student Ministries Pastor