Peter's Unusual Power
12The apostles worked many miracles and wonders among the people. All of the Lord's followers often met in the part of the temple known as Solomon's Porch. 13No one outside their group dared join them, even though everyone liked them very much.
14Many men and women started having faith in the Lord. 15Then sick people were brought out to the road and placed on mats. It was hoped that Peter would walk by, and his shadow would fall on them and heal them. 16A lot of people living in the towns near Jerusalem brought those who were sick or troubled by evil spirits, and they were all healed.
For me, reading the Book of Acts is like listening to the movements of a majestic symphony. Following an entire symphony from beginning to end is very different to hearing just a few bars or sound bites played out of context.
Before going much further, consider taking some time to read through the entire book of Acts in two or three sittings. Luke’s story is shorter than many novels, but more power-packed. It’s important to grasp firsthand his big story about the Kingdom of God on the move, as well as the meaning of the many smaller stories Luke has pulled together. There are surprising twists and turns – and some breathtaking moments of great drama that trigger “Aha!” experiences like in Acts 9.
The first Christians knew deep in their bones what they called “the power of the resurrection” (Philippians 3:10). God’s power propelled them into action. Luke shows it at work in this passage about God’s healing power – and in many stories to come. The good news of God’s love and power changing lives could not be kept down. The disciples were threatened and warned not to continue their public teaching. Yet here they are out in the open – in the centre, not the periphery – proclaiming Jesus as Lord, healing the sick, and attracting big crowds from miles around.
They were witnessing how the resurrection of Jesus was changing the world for good. Have you heard the stirring chorus in Luke’s symphony? Jesus’ death on the cross, and his victory over sin and death, is the hinge on which the history of world swings. For that reason Peter can proclaim without hesitation that, “Only Jesus has the power to save” (Acts 4:12). Where do you need to experience the power of the resurrection in your life?
Risen Christ, your power at work in me can do far more than I can ask or imagine. Deepen my love for you, my dependence on you, and my awareness of your power and presence in me in all I undertake by the power of your Spirit. Amen.