288 - Empowered and Imprisoned
OCTOBER 15 - Nº 288 Acts 2:42 – 4:22
The new believers gathered in the Temple courtyard every day to listen to the apostles teach. They were in awe of the wonders and miracles Jesus’ disciples performed in his name. And every day more people believed that Jesus really was the Messiah. They spent a lot of time learning and praying and fellowshipping together. One afternoon, Peter and John went to the Temple to pray. As they entered through the gate called Beautiful, they noticed a man who had been crippled since his birth. He was placed there every day to beg for food and money. Peter said to him, “Look at us.” The man looked up expecting them to hand him something. Instead, Peter said, “I don’t have any money to give you, but I have something better. In the name of Jesus, the Messiah from Nazareth, get up and walk.” Peter took him by the right hand and helped him up. Instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He started jumping and praising God as he accompanied them into the Temple courtyard. People realized that the man who was walking with Peter and John was the same man they had just seen begging outside the gate. They ran to see what had happened. Peter said, “We did not heal this man by our own power. He was healed in the name of Jesus, the one you told Pilate to crucify. You killed him, but God raised him from the dead. We have seen him and are witnesses that he is alive! It is through faith in him that this man was healed. You need to repent and turn to God and accept Jesus as your Messiah. Then God will forgive your sins.” When the religious leaders heard what was happening, they came with the Temple guards and seized Peter and John. They were upset that the two apostles were trying to convince people that Jesus was alive. They threw Peter and John into prison and held them until the Jewish Council could get together the next morning. But many of the people in the courtyard had heard and seen enough to believe that Jesus really was the Messiah. Soon there were close to 5,000 believers in Jerusalem. The next morning, the high priest and all the religious leaders met. They summoned the lame man, then led Peter and John into the room and interrogated them. “Who gave you the power to do this miracle?” they demanded. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit as he answered. “This man stands before you now because he was healed by the name of Jesus, the Messiah from Nazareth—the one you crucified. But God raised him from the dead! He is the only one who can save anyone!” The religious leaders were amazed at the confidence of Peter and John. These two men had no formal education, yet they spoke boldly before the Council. The leaders realized that being with Jesus had transformed the apostles’ lives. Since no one could deny that they had performed a miracle, the Council decided to threaten Peter and John, then let them go. They ordered them not to talk about Jesus anymore. But Peter and John replied, “You are asking us to disobey God and obey you instead. We cannot do that. We will obey God!”
Peter and John knew that the only way anyone could be saved was through Jesus. And they wanted everyone to know this! They refused to stop sharing this message even when they were threatened.
Do you realize the importance of this message? Are you willing to share it regardless of the consequences?