The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
In Acts chapter four, Peter has been arrested as a result of the controversy involving a lame man healed near the temple. In verses 4-12 he is questioned by the usual prosecutors - Annas, Caiaphas, and other powerful Jewish leaders. At issue is where Peter received the authority to do what he did. He must have received the power and authority to perform a healing miracle from somewhere. Was it an authorized activity?
Peter’s response is that his authority came from Jesus, the one the Jewish leaders had required to be crucified. We remember, after all, that during his time with the disciples, Jesus sent them to do miracles of healing. This is exactly what Peter has been doing.
Peter changes the field of questioning here, though. He points out that it is Jesus who sent him, and that this is the Jesus who was crucified but whom God raised from the dead. The healing happened exactly because Jesus is more powerful than death. It happened, furthermore, because Jesus is the one in whom there is salvation, both from physical ailments but also from sin and death. Jesus’ name is the one appointed in heaven and on earth for salvation.
This is a bold response indeed. The author, Luke, says that Peter responded, “full of the Holy Spirit.” It is certainly a response from the Holy Spirit which will bring all the credit to Jesus, not to Pter and the other apostles.
We can learn a good bit from Peter. When we are challenged for our faith we are all too ready to roll over and play dead. We are normally afraid to take a clear stand for Jesus. Yet it is through his resurrection that we find life and hope. Peter, by the power of the Holy Spirit, has the confidence to call on Jesus as the hope of the world.
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