Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
On January 18 the Church remembers Peter's confession, the time when the apostle Peter articulated the idea that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. This was certainly a bold statement, as it went against all the Jewish sensibilities of fiercly guarding the orthodox and true statement that God is one. He had no way of understanding the idea of God as three persons of one substance, one in essence and being. Yet he knew Jesus was saying and doing the things that pertained to God.
In Acts chapter four, when Peter and John were being tried before the Jewish court of elders and chief priests, Peter's confession remained the same. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, who has performed the work of healing on a disabled man. Peter and John didn't do it. Jesus did it.
It seems every time I turn around someone is saying that the early Christian leaders were grasping for power and authority, seeking to govern people's lives, and creating a climate of oppression that would bring glory and honor to themselves. That's an interesting theory, but it falls flat when it works with passages like this one. Peter and John specifically affirmed that they were not the men in power. They didn't want power. They claimed no responsibility for God's goodness poured out through them. Whatever the good deed, they didn't do it. Christ, working through them, did it.
As Christians, called to confess that Jesus is the Christ, God the Son, the savior of the world, how should we live in light of this attitude held by Peter and John? We also confess that we are simply obedient servants, praying for those in need, hoping to rejoice in God's provision for their needs. Whatever our abilities, whatever our resources, whatever our position of authority, we recognize that God is the one who is working all the good that may be done in this world.
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