Taken from: Acts 3-4
“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.”Acts 4:13
Recently I was reading this verse, and a phrase near the end of the verse stood out to me. You might have noticed it in the bold writing above. It’s the phrase there in Acts 4:13. ” …and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” I wondered why that was stated. Wasn’t this obvious? Peter had just been preaching about Jesus in chapter three. Lots of people knew Jesus or at least, knew of Him, and His disciples were often with Him. So, why did the people in the temple take notice of this
Was this simply a statement like,
“Oh yeah! That guy was with Jesus. He was one of the disciples.”
No, I don’t think so. It was more like,
“WOW! That man is on fire for Christ! He knew Jesus and His reason for coming to earth, and he wants to proclaim that to the world!”
Why? Because there was something special. They spoke with boldness. Plus, these men were not naturally eloquent speakers, yet there was a message worth telling and the message was not their own.
So, I backed up to get the context.
Peter and John, through the power of God, had just healed the lame man, who, by the way, was older than forty years old (Acts 4:22). A crowd gathered because of this awesome miracle that had happened right before their eyes! Now with an audience, Peter began to speak boldly about the things concerning Jesus. The religious leaders were furious that Peter and John spoke out and that the people were believing. Acts 4:4 says that about five thousand men heard and believed the word. Trying to put a stop to it all, the authorities arrested the disciples. Now, in the company of elders and rulers, Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke with boldness again the things pertaining to Christ. After Peter spoke is where that verse comes.
That isn’t the end though.
The religious leaders couldn’t ignore the healed man, who was praising God for this miracle. They didn’t know what to do. So, they ordered everyone to not talk about it or anything pertaining to Jesus. Peter and John both said that they couldn’t obey that. Without knowing any further actions to take the rulers and elders released the disciples.
Now in the company of fellow believers, Peter and John joined in the prayer of their friends, who prayed for boldness to speak God’s word. Read how it all turns out in Acts 4:31-37.
The following are some points which I have pulled out, of Acts three and four, as a start to living a life that reflets and proclaims Jesus. I pray that God’s Spirit will reveals Himself to you through the following points.
Be Obedient to God
Peter and John were on their way to the temple when they were stopped by the lame man. In obedience they heeded Jesus’ words of love and compassion to those in need, in obedience they were able to heal through the power of God and according to Jesus’ name, and Peter displayed obedience by practicing the Great Commission, in Matthew 28:19-20, to go out and teach the Gospel.
Obedience to God and His Word will lead you to the place that He wants you to be. It’s not easy or natural sometimes, but a love and devotion for your Lord and Savior should indebt you to Him. Once indebted to Jesus, there should be nothing that can stop you from obeying and following Him to the ends of the Earth. Our human nature will fail, but take courage from a verse in Psalm 37…
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.”Psalm 37:23-24
The lame man expected money. It was his only means of provision, begging. When Peter stated in Acts 3:6 that he didn’t have silver or gold, you can almost picture the last bit of hope fading out of that miserable beggar’s face. Peter and John didn’t hold value in material wealth. If they had, they would have missed a much greater plan that God was trying to accomplish. What they did have they didn’t hoard. They had been given the great gift of Jesus and His power and they shared it with the beggar.
Boldness empowered Peter and John to proclaim the glory to God. For truly that was the purpose of the miracle: to bring God the glory. Boldness is speaking when others wouldn’t for something that may not be received with open arms. In the temple Peter preached and the people received it however the authorities did not, however, Peter did not back down.
Be Led by the Holy Spirit
Peter was under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was being poured out in a unique way then, however I believe that the Holy Spirit is for believers today as well. Having discernment to hear the promptings of God is a vital key that many believers don’t even recognize.
Be in Prayer
Finally, prayer. Acts 4:31 gives the amazing answer to prayer in this situation. Prayer is direct communication to God. Prayer is access to the love, compassion, and power of God.