“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13).
This is one of my most favourite stories in the Bible. It started in Acts chapter three…
“Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them–walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
It was just another day in the life of Peter and John, as they were going to the temple to pray one day. Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, they saw a lame man instantly and miraculously healed. The people were amazed! Peter took this opportunity, as a crowd gathered around, to begin preaching to the people about Jesus, and the number of believers in the early church grew from 3,000 to 5,000.
However, the religious leaders got angry at them for preaching about Jesus and threw them in jail. The next day, they began questioning Peter and John about what they had done, and Peter began preaching to these religious leaders about Jesus. He said, “If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” (v.9-10). It was at this point – because of their boldness – that the religious leaders recognized that they had been with Jesus.
Have you been with Jesus? There is a boldness that only comes from being in His presence in prayer. When the religious leaders commanded them to stop preaching about Jesus, Peter said, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (v.19-20). That gets me excited. Lord, I want the boldness of Peter and John. Give me such boldness that it will shock people, where I can’t help myself, I just have to tell them about my Jesus. Let me share with you the ending to this story, with a challenge: Be with Jesus. Spend time in the prayer closet on your knees, getting alone, until you’re not alone anymore. Go to Jesus, then go to the world, with a boldness to preach the Good News about our Lord and Saviour.
“And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:23-31).
After Peter and John went out preaching Jesus and healing the sick, they got together with their friends and prayed for MORE boldness. Lord, give US boldness today, with signs and wonders following!
Pastor Chris Jordan