“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” Acts 4.13-17
Have you ever wondered how we have recorded conversations, behind closed doors, of the Sanhedrin? Ever wondered how we know exactly what they were saying and thinking? Maybe a member of that group or servant later recorded the conversations about Peter and John. Surely the God who heals the lame could gather intel from those trying to cease his activity in this world!
The members of the Sanhedrin were up a creek without a paddle. They were in a tight spot. Peter and John just performed a very public miracle and now the whole town knows. ”Everyone living in Jerusalem,” to be exact. Just as Jesus had been the buzz of talk around town, now the disciples who were speaking in his name, were stirring up trouble. The Sanhedrin didn’t quite know what to do. Even they were astonished by miracles from ”unschooled, ordinary men.” They couldn’t deny the miracle, because everyone knew, but they could tell Peter and John to stop speaking to anyone in the name of Jesus.
We will find out exactly how this plan went over in our next lesson, but for today, let’s camp out on the astonishing aspect of this miracle. Sometimes things happen, which you may or may not agree with. Experiences that leave you breathless. Perhaps a war, a riot, or a slap from Will Smith on stage to Chris Rock leaves us astonished! Whether we like it or not, our emotions run away with us and we stand in awe of what just happened.
God’s activity in the world should leave us astonished on a regular basis. These Sanhedrin members, who did not trust Jesus as Messiah, were amazed at what was happening. How much more should we, who call him Lord, stand in daily and regular awe of his work? We should look for it, pray for it, expect it. Jesus promised that when he was gone- his followers, that means us, would do even greater works than what he has done (see John 14.12). So why are we surprised when it happens?
Our world is broken and fallen into sin. However, God is working in mighty ways. The God who raised Jesus, who healed the lame, who restored the sight to the blind and removed the disease from the lepers, wants to continue his mighty power in us. And, he wants us to demonstrate his power to the world.
Are you willing to experience the supernatural? Are you able to pray for miracles for healing? Are you so full of faith that you want the world to know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the same God as Jesus Christ? Why not release this power of faith today? And when you do, the world will be astonished by his power and his grace.
“O Lord God, the purpose of miracles was to build faith and draw people to your son. Physical healings mattered but it’s the soul that endures for eternity. Come now, Holy Spirit, consume us with a fire. Fall upon your people. Release your grace and love. Help us so walk by faith that we expect the unexpected. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen