Acts 4:13 Now when (the religious authorities) saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. 14 When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. 16 They said, “What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. 17 But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; 20 for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old.
Three things stand out for me in this passage. First, despite the fact that Peter and John were “uneducated and ordinary men”, there was no denying the power of God manifest through them. This demonstration by men perceived to be unqualified by the higher-ups continued the disruptive work begun by Jesus himself. God continues the disruptive work of Jesus to this day.
Secondly, Peter and John were simply imitating Jesus. In other words, they were doing the kinds of things they’d seen Jesus do many, many times. Jesus told them that they would follow in his footsteps doing “even greater things than these” but they didn’t believe him at the time. However, once they received the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they were off and running. V.13 says that others were struck by the “boldness” of these disciples of Jesus. It’s important to note from where the boldness came. It was a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Thirdly, v.22 notes “For the man (who was healed)… was more than 40 years old.” As if this somehow makes the healing even more miraculous?! LOL! I guess, as one who is over 50 now, that makes me candidate for an even greater miracle!
Lord Jesus, accompany us in this season of Advent as we wait to celebrate your coming 2,000 years ago, and for your coming again in glory. Amen.