Learning to be at rest with what the Lord is doing presently in our lives can be difficult at times. Going with the flow of what He is doing can bring peace and an empowering of His Holy Spirit!
And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
The Pharisees were the primary antagonists of Jesus. They claimed Jesus and His disciples violated their rituals and traditions. Here in this story, however, the Sadducees are the primary challengers of the church. They were upset with the church because of the stories of miracles and resurrections, angels and healings that circulated throughout Jerusalem and that they could not explain or substantiate these phenomea’s.
Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
I would have to conclude that the Word was being lived out in a very naturally supernatural way in these early church folks and it was impacting those who heard and believed in very profound life changing way. Share the Word, and live the Word. It is powerfull and yet it has an ease and flow about it!
And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
In (Deuteronomy 13). Old Testament Scriptures declare he who did a miracle in the name of any other besides Jehovah was to be stoned. Here, Caiaphas, Annas, and the boys—perhaps with rocks in hand—were hoping Peter would say, “We did it in the Name of Jesus.”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel.
This illustrates why it is so important to be filled and under the influence of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. You will remember that only two months previously, Peter stood by a fire and denied Jesus Christ (Luke 22:55–57). But now, this same Peter, having been empowered by fire in Acts 2, is a different person. By the enemy’s fire, Peter was burned. Touched and empowered with fire, he stands, he’s hot, he’s under fire, and it is those around him who are feeling the heat now! Lord fill us with Your Holy Spirit and with power so that we just naturally warm others with you!
Acts 4:9, 10…
If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead…
Look at Peter’s boldness. He’s saying, “We did this in the Name of Jesus Christ, whom you crucified.” I don’t think that Peter gave any conciderations whatsoever as to weather or not this statement was going to be politically correct or tollerable to the religious leaders. Under the naturally, supernatural power of the Holy Spirit he just shares his mind.
(Note! There are no alterior motives to build a church, get notariety, spawn a movement, or to subtantiate, validate, and cultivate a ministry). It is all done though the work of the Spirit as Christ builds His church.
…even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Quoting Psalm 118:22, Peter referenced the construction of the temple. He would later write that we as living stones are part of a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5). Sometimes we rub each other the wrong way, some of us are allowed to be crushed more than others so that the refining process we have gone through is more visible and easily evidenced by others. That’s what living stones are supposed to do. God puts living stone’s in our lives who will knock the rough edges and prepare you for heaven.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
They get it all wrong here when the Jewish leaders ask, “Who are these unlearned and ignorant men?”. How is it they understand the Scriptures?” How could Peter and John, uneducated men, get away with saying, “We did this in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth whom you crucified” (see Acts 4:10)? Because those who heard them perceived that they had been with Jesus, but they had not only studied under the tuteledge of Jesus, they were with Jesus then, in that moment – Just like He is with you and me now!
And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
We need the lame one’s in our midst, we need the broken people who are not perfect around us. It is in their brokeness that the annointing of the Holy Spirit is at work and on the move. They are the one’s who are the vehicle that the Lord uses to manifest His glory, They are the catalyst for the supernaturally, natural work of the Spirit and the venue that He will build His church through. They are Jesus to a lost and dying world! It is the lame guy or gal that the Lord uses to stimulate a profound work that goes much further than just his or her personal needs, weakness, brokeness, or issues in the big picture.
There is a real tendency in the body to use the term “come along side.” We use it to impart instruction, correction, and to look the part of an intentional community but, if it is too messy there is a tendancy to withdraw from one another and isolate. This should not be and that is not the case in our story here.
The lame man not only stood with Peter and John in the temple (Acts 3:11), but he stood with them in their trouble. Peter and John were in hot water here, and this guy could have said, “Hey, this is a little heavy. Thanks for healing me, but I gotta go.” But he didn’t. He stood by Peter and John, even though he could have been executed with them.
You see, it’s easy to be friends in the temple. But you can only find out who your true friends are when you’re in trouble. So, too, you will be able to evaluate the depth of your friendship with Jesus by how willing you are to stand with Him in times of testing and difficulty. Stand with the Lord, fellow lamoe’s, because He stood for you and stood by you.
And stand by your brothers and sisters even when they’re blowing it, even when they’re in hot water, even when they’re in difficulty, even when they’re in trouble. I’m appreciative of those who come along side of me and say “Hey, this is what the Lord has put upon our hearts to do.” We’ll just be there for you.” Because in the big picture, the Lord is also doing something bigger and beyond the scope of a lame man or women, but we are also an important part of that picture and both parts are required to move the Goodness of the Gospel.
Jesus stands for each and everyone of us so, if you are not lame walk along side someone who is, and if your are lame, stand with someone who isn’t. we need each other!
Acts 4:15, 16
But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
The man who was lame previously had been healed—and all Jerusalem knew it.
Question! Without a lame man would there have been a healing?
Acts 4:17, 18
But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:19, 20
But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Peter and John said, “We can’t help but speak that which we’ve seen and heard.”
Do you have a hard time speaking about the Lord? Perhaps it’s because you haven’t seen or heard much from Him lately. I find that my witness is proportional to what I am presently seeing and hearing from the Lord in my own life. If I am not seeing or hearing from Him, I find I don’t speak as boldly, as quickly, or as readily as during those times when I am hearing His Word and seeing His work.
So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
The people who saw a lame man leap for joy glorified not Peter, but God. I encourage you to keep your antennae up and your eyes open concerning ministries that are built upon men, around men, and for men. The response to the healing of the lame man is how it should always be: people glorifying God. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they might see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
How long will I have my struggles? Perhaps a better question to ask is, “How long will you pour out your spirit on me and use these struggle’s at the same time and for Your glory?” This man had been lame for forty years, but his healing came at the exact moment that would maximize glory to God and confirm the fact that although Jesus was no longer seen physically, He was still working through His church. So often we wonder, Lord, why aren’t You working? I’ve been praying. I’ve been believing. Where are You, Lord? It’s been forty minutes, forty days, or perhaps even forty years. In Luke Chapter 1 The Holy Spirit came apon Mary and she concieved as a virgin, conception however was not seen and birth was not realized for 9 months. Furthermore, it was not all accomplished without a great deal of scruteny, finger pointing and speculation that Mary would carry with her for 33 years. The lameness of here situation was ever with her and was not validated until the ressurection of her Son Jesus.
Take courage, dear friends. Don’t give up. At the right time, the Lord will work to His glory. You just watch. Just wait. You’ll see. He is faithful when we are weak and frail!
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
“They went to their own company.” When pressure mounts, when things come down, you’ll always go to your own company. When you face intimidation, problems, and potential difficulty, where do you go? Do you polish your gold chain and hang out with the lounge lizards? Or do you find yourself heading toward fellowship? Where do you go—to the lounge, or to the Lord?
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is.
Remember who He Is
When you’re feeling lame or pressured, when you’re being threatened or feeling alone in you circumstances, it’s always a good idea to start prayer by remembering to whom you’re talking. Sometimes my problems seem so big and insurmountable until I start to worship and remember who He is—the Creator of all things so, start your prayers by remembering, “Father, You’re the Creator of all things. There is nothing too hard for You” (take a look at Jeremiah 32:17).
Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Understand what is really going on here!
“In Psalm 2, Father,” the believers prayed, “You told us that the heathen would try to come against You and Your people—just as we’re seeing here. We acknowledge that this is all in accordance with Your will.”
David wrote that the heathen seem to prosper while the godly suffer (Psalm 73). Peter would later write, “Think it not strange when fiery trials come upon you” (see 1 Peter 4:12).
When persecution comes and when the Godly even suffer lameness, it is in accordance with the Word and the will of the Father.
Acts 4:29, 30
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
Recognize what He is doing now and pray for more!
I have a tendancy to miss what the Lord is doing presently in my lameness and to instruct the Lord about when to take it away! I find the the circumstances and dialoge with the paralytic at the gate beuatiful in Acts 3 and Jesus’ healing of the man with the withered hand in Luke 6 interesting. In both instances the miracles done by the disciples in Acts and by Jesus in Luke were on the Sabbath. This was a day when everyone was to be at perfect rest in the Father yet, it could be observed that the religious leaders were doing a good job of keeping anyone from truly entering rest in the Lord. The paralytic was focused on financial relief and was strengthend through the disciples instead. He was still the lame guy in the story it’s just that God gave him exactly what He needed for the purpose of building His kingdom and for His glory and He went walking and leaping and praising God. The man with the withered hand was told by Jesu to stretch out his hand. Weather it was by rising and walking or by stretching out a hand, both individuals moved into a new work that the Lord was doing out of their lameness. Now here is why this interests me.
The early church didn’t pray that they might have a break from persecution, but that they might have boldness in persecution. And that kind of prayer prevails!
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together…
We often pray when we are shaken up. These guys prayed so they could be shaken up! They didn’t ask God to eliminate or allieviate there circumstances rather, it was a prayer for more of what the Lord was already doing! The result...
…and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke—not in tongues—but the Word of God. Never forget that the purpose of the empowering of the Spirit is not that we might speak in tongues. The purpose of the power of the Spirit is that we might be bold witnesses (Acts 1:8). That empowering keeps Scripture on our lips and His Words being lived out of our lives in an incarnational kind of way thay is indicative of a walk in the Spirit prevelent in even the lamest of recipients!