Job 8. Acts 4:1-31
Of course this wasn’t a game. Someone had died.This was serious. Not at all surprising that the priests of Jerusalem were greatly disturbed (v1). Annas himself had just finished condemning, crucifying and burying Jesus, when BANG : miracles, resurrection and mass conversion. So many, in fact , that the 5,000 men (+women and children), roughly equaled the number of Pharisees in Jerusalem at the time, and made up a substantial proportion of the 40,000+ population of Jerusalem (Josephus).By sheer numbers this was trending badly for the establishment. Peter’s miracle was widely known and accepted by all (v16). There was nowhere to hide this. Attempts to silence Peter were met with courageous accusation (v17), and refusal (v19).
The opponents of Christianity have always found that. Just when they have finished killing off Christians, or Christianity, barely have they finished patting down the soil; they find it springs up somewhere else… (thanks CS Lewis).
Be reminded, that you can’t contain or thwart the Sovereign LORD (v24), who has made everything, sustains everything, and is the purpose of everything. Even those who conspire to execute Jesus are acting within God’s power and will, for His purposes.
And His plan, His purposes are Jesus. His amazing, Grace- filled plan is to bring lost ones to Him, through the atoning death and spectacular resurrection of His Son.How wonderful is Jesus! How AMAZING that you and I, each of us, deserving only of Hell, receive salvation at the hands of Jesus.Salvation is what all of humanity need. It is precious. It is found in no other than Jesus (v12).
These were the words that were on Peter’s lips. Peter was changed. Changed from an embarrassed disciple; seeking to blend in with the crowd, broken by his own weakness and a cock crow. Now, standing before his cultural and political masters, he is full of courage, bold words and miracles. Astonishing. Absolutely every observer would have felt the same.
What changed everything was the Resurrection. It changes everything.It shows that salvation is the climax of history, Jesus is our future. It shows we are not mere flesh and blood, random events and reasoning. We are created by God, to have life with God; a relation of love with spiritual and eternal dimensions. Resurrection confirms that, miracles adorn that, Jesus achieves that… for us. This changes our identity, purpose and reality.
That’s why Peter can’t stop speaking about it (v20).In fact his filling with the Holy Spirit, was so that he could tell this news (v8), and speak it boldly (v31).
Think of the people you will see in the course of this day. They are either lost or ‘once was lost’. They need to hear the same message of salvation Peter spoke of. God’s grace extends out to the lost, offering costly salvation. We need to represent God’s truth, not like Bildad in Job 8, who speaks his own thoughts about God and life.
We need to pray, today and every day; firstly, for a concern for those whom Jesus is concerned for, and then for boldness to speak. For won’t we want to blend in? – we will fear, we will want to be silent, we won’t want to be courageous. We need His Spirit, to be changed, be game.