Thursday, December 6, 2012

What Happened After the Lame Man Was Healed...

When God does His work in His way, there is always no small commotion among those affected.

After the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate in Acts 3, a series of things happened...

* The lame man was changed forever. He went walking, leaping and praising God. I can imagine he did that every day until he died because his life was so radically changed.

* The bystanders who saw were filled with awe and astonishment that something like this could happen. Who had ever heard of a man lame from birth now dancing a jig to God?

* Peter and John, seizing upon the moment and the gathering amazed crowd, began to share the message of the gospel. The demonstration of the gospel (e.g. healing of the lame man) was immediately followed by a proclamation of the gospel!

* And it wasn't a mamby-pamby message that Peter preached. He was pretty unambiguous when he said, "Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this?...The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Jesus...You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. By faith in His name, His name has made tis man strong whom you see and know..."

* The religious leaders became offended, seized Peter and John and had them put in custody overnight. But over 5,000 people believed in their message!

* The next day, Peter and John were dragged before the ruling religious council and asked, "By what power or in what name have you done this?" to which they boldly answered, " the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene - whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead - by Him this man is standing here before you healthy!"

* And then, they boldly state for the religious leaders and the whole world to hear...

"There is salvation in on one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it."

The religious leaders were furious. They looked down on Peter and John because they were uneducated and untrained. But they were amazed at their boldness and they recognized that, "they (Peter and John) had been with Jesus."

They leaders ordered Peter and John, "Don't you dare ever preach or teach in the name of Jesus again!"

Peter and John replied, do what you want, but "...we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."

The religious leaders threatened Peter and John further and then released them.

Thus, when God's work occurs and people are amazed, there is always opportunity for telling the real story behind everything: God's plan for salvation of the nations. However, there will always be those who will oppose and do all they can to keep this message of hope from going forth. May we all, as followers of Jesus, be like Peter and John and not give in to pressure from the world. No matter if we're uneducated and untrained. No matter is the world threatens us. No matter whether the crowds believe or not. May we always be unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard in Jesus!

Because here is the good news: Salvation is found in no other name but Jesus!


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