April 22, 2018
I Will Build My Church: Peter and John on Trial
Acts 3 and 4 tells the story of an amazing miracle of healing for a man in desperate need. This unnamed beggar had been making his living through the pity of others for his entire life, sitting at the temple asking for money. One day, as Peter and John were walking into the temple to worship, this poor man asked them for money. Their response to him is now famous: “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” The man stood up and walked for the first time in his life!
When the religious leaders (a council called the Sanhedrin) heard about this, they put Peter and John on trial. They questioned them about everything, and took special note that these were ordinary, unschooled men – except that they had been with Jesus. They ordered them to stop talking about Jesus, but, of course, Peter and John rejected that idea.
Peter and John had four convictions that led them to faithfully proclaim the good news of Jesus. First of all, they knew that the miracle that was performed had nothing to do with them. They didn’t do it in their own power. It was the power of the Holy Spirit moving through them! Secondly, they believed that the message they were given is the only hope for mankind. When the Sanhedrin put Peter and John on trial, Peter testified plainly: “Salvation is found in no one else.”
Their third conviction was that their mandate was given by the one who held all authority and power. When Jesus commissioned his disciples to make more disciples, he assured them that all authority had been given to him. They would be accountable to God, not to the Sanhedrin, for proclaiming the name of Jesus. Finally, they had been with Jesus, and they knew him. They testified plainly, “We can’t stop talking about what we have seen and heard.”