“By what power or by what name did you do this?” - Acts 4:7

Peter and John stood before a hostile Jewish council.  

At this point, Jesus Christ, the Living God of Heaven, had been turned over to be ruthlessly butchered by men who should have known better.  In doing so, the Jews helped hundreds of years worth of ancient prophecy (prophecies most of them had memorized) come true.  Guilt must have seized their hearts as God darkened the land with a supernatural spectacle in the moments that Jesus died.

If that wasn’t enough, Jesus created chaos for the power-hungry when he slaughtered death - inconveniently rising from a grave that couldn’t hold Him.

Peter and John stood still on that day.  These Jews had their worlds turned upside down.  How relieved they must have been when Jesus stopped showing up… Maybe the last few months - the last few YEAR - would soon pass from memory.

But those pesky followers…

Peter and John were headed to the temple to pray, as centuries of Jews before them had done.  On the way, a crippled man asked them for money.  Rather than dropping some coin, these men unleashed the healing power of God.  The man got up from his infirmity, and WALKED.

Acts 3:9-10 - And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms.  And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter and John were just getting started.  As a crowd amassed, certainly waiting for the next magic trick, these two Christ-followers began to preach the Gospel.  The next thing you know, 5,000 men have been saved.

It was a busy day in Jerusalem.

That’s why Peter and John now stood before the council - the men who likely plotted the murder of Christ.  They wanted to know the source of power on which these men relied.  They got an ear full!  Peter and John spoke up and said something like this:  ”Our power comes from the ONE you’ve been waiting for, the ONE you were threatened by, the ONE you murdered, and the ONE you rejected.  Your only hope of salvation is to be accepted by Him.”

Acts 4:13 - Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 

May we stay so close to Jesus that people MARVEL at His power.
May we remain so in love with the Gospel that the world will MARVEL at His grace.

Aaron is the pastor of Spring of Life, a new church in Portland, Oregon. He's the owner of Amplify Creative.