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Yes, Jesus can use even us…to confound the wise!

January, 2023 – Faithful Living ~

They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that? Acts 4:13-14 MSG

The ESV version of the same passage describes Peter and John as uneducated, common men…and that the Council was astonished. Peter had just walked through the Beautiful Gate into the Temple for prayers along with John, including the man he just laid his hands on to heal. Never before could this man walk…but now, in the company of these two disciples, he was made whole… No more were his feet lame. Now, he could jump and walk and run!

Obviously, the teachers of the law and the Jewish leaders took notice. So much so, they hauled Peter and John into the Sanhedrin to question them closely about the miraculous event that many people witnessed. And add to that, the healed man was standing right next to the accused. No one could deny it.

The Bible says not to worry about what you will say when the time comes to share about Jesus, for the Spirit will give you just the right words at the proper time. These guys were living proof! When Peter opened his mouth to speak before the elders of the Temple, the Lord clothed him with power from on High and he spoke with such conviction and purpose. The Council was stunned; they were overwhelmed with curiosity and wonderment.

None of these teachers ever had these guys in rabbinical school—they didn’t make the cut, and yet they spoke with an uncommon mastery for ordinary men. They realized that they were companions with Jesus and they couldn’t believe that they were so confident and self-assured when they interacted with the Jewish hierarchy.

They pressed the young disciples hard in trying to discern by what authority Peter used to heal the man from his infirmity. The grilling of the leaders made these men even bolder in their witness.

Peter and John confronted them all in exclaiming that they were the ones who killed the Messiah and it was His resurrected power that allowed them to help a man that was lame from birth. Jesus’ power not theirs, was responsible for the miracle before them all. In the midst of their determined exhortation, seemingly nothing could persuade these religious men off their pious opinions.

That resolute power exhibited in the apostles those many years ago, also exists today. Most doubt it, but miracles of one manner or another are happening all around us.

Why did Jesus say that if you have the faith of a grain of mustard seed, you can say to a mountain be picked up and moved into the sea….or to a tree, to be uprooted and planted in the sea…if He didn’t provide His power after the resurrection through His Spirit to believers, past, present and future?

For many, these matters are hard to understand. Jesus simply said, it boils down to your faith.

The elders of first century Palestine couldn’t wrap their heads around the reality of what just occurred…but there was no getting around the fact that the healed man horizontal from birth became vertical for the sole purpose of bringing glory to God.

The same is difficult for us even today….but that is where faith turns skeptics into those who behold the supreme goodness of the Lord in this life. The Lord is eager to grant the desires of all whose intentions line up with His will and His way.

Peter and John were common people, just like you and me. The only difference is, they got to hang out with Jesus during His ministry, face to face. We on the other hand, get to hang with our Lord in a slightly different way… We connect with Him every day through His Spirit and we get the privilege to see Him at work in and through not only us, but in other Christ followers throughout our earthly journey.

And so, as we begin this New Year, maybe our resolve is not to adopt the doubting Thomas mentality of approaching the miraculous in exclaiming, “I will not believe, unless I see!” Rather, might we ask that our Lord would grant us the capacity to see beyond our sight in order to gain the confidence and faith to take our belief to a higher level of consciousness. Embrace and believe in the Peter and John approach…with the audacious expectation that Jesus is entirely ready, willing and able to act in ways that will bring wholeness and healing into situations that are ready to receive these gifts.

Pray, expect and remain confident that our Lord will move in miraculous ways this year in your life and in the lives of those you love. With great anticipation we wait, watch and most certainly will be amazed at the extravagant love of our risen Savior, Christ the Lord!

Happy New Year!

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