First Posted: 1/15/2009
When the lame beggar was healed at the temple gate, he followed Peter and John into the temple and caused quite a stir among the people. All of them knew this man, and there was no doubt a miracle had taken place.
The people swarmed around them in amazement, but Peter and John did not take credit for the miracle. They told the people that it came by faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
As they talked, the temple leaders and Sadducees heard them preaching about Christ and His resurrection. Luke said these officials were “grieved.” They would not tolerate the gospel being preached, so they jailed Peter and John overnight.
On the following day, Peter and John were brought to trial. Luke said there were about 5,000 converts as a result of the disciples' preaching, and these officials were determined to stop them.
The Holy Spirit filled the two men, and Peter preached salvation in Christ to the court.
Everyone who heard him was frustrated. What had these two men done that was so wrong? There was no way any of them could deny that a lame man had been healed, and yet, these men must stop what they were doing.
The only thing left for the officials to do was to order that they not preach Christ to anybody in Jerusalem. Peter and John told the officials they would obey God first, and how could religious officials quarrel with that? The disciples were freed and they went back to the church where they told everyone what had happened.
Hearing their experience, the church's members “lifted up their voices to God with one accord.” In other words, they all prayed for the same thing.
Read what Luke said about their prayer in Acts 4:24-30.
First, they prayed with absolute belief in God's power and His sovereign rule over the world. God is the Creator and only He is God.
Secondly, they acknowledged the world's opposition to God. There are many who work and speak against God. Man often rejects God and a life of obedience to Him because man wants to selfishly focus on what he wants.
Great people in the Bible were usually confronted by the greatest opposition. Look, for example, at Christ Jesus. Even as a baby, His life was threatened.
Regardless of the world's opposition to God and God's people, His plan and purpose will always be triumphant.
Thirdly, the people asked God to give them boldness in spreading the good news of Jesus.
What happened when they prayed? Luke wrote that the place where they gathered shook, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They received the boldness they asked for, and they used it to spread the Word.
May all of us as Christians pray unselfishly and for the boldness to take the light of Christ into a dark world.
The Sunday school lesson is written by Ed Wilcox, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church, Lumberton, N.C. [email protected]