Tuesday, 3 July 2018

First Miracle

Scripture: Acts 4 v 10:  "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand before you whole."

This was the answer Peter gave to those of the Jewish religious council, known as Pharisees, who demanded to know by what name or power the lame man who had begged at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, was now walking and obviously healed.

By the boldness of Peter and John they realised something else about them.  They were ignorant, unlearned fishermen, with only one difference, they had been with Jesus!  They had been under His guidance; His authority and teaching, and the Pharisees were afraid of how news of this miracle would start more problems for them.

They had crucified Jesus to stop the spread of a rival faction that would cause them problems with Rome, now this first miracle had occurred using the power and name of Jesus plus the testimony that God had raised Him from the dead.  They were determined to nip this disastrous new movement in the bud.

The Apostles prayed that the Lord would protect them from the threats of the council and that they would have boldness to proclaim the name of Jesus for many to be healed and delivered.  The power is in His name, not in people.  Jesus heals through His followers.

The more they were persecuted, the stronger Christianity became and every attempt to suppress it caused the opposite effect!  That first miracle was known throughout Jerusalem and many were added to 'The Way' as it was known at first.  It was irresistible and unstoppable, as we see today.  Nothing could stand against God's plan of salvation.

Many have tried, and Jesus warned us about false doctrines, false prophets and the need to avoid the excesses of people who have a different agenda, whose aim is to divert the followers of Jesus onto a false way for their own financial benefit. Or into a One World Interfaith type church where multiple deities are worshipped.  And it is working for those who reject the discipline of the strait and narrow way.

So let us learn from these errors and be bold to proclaim Jesus to all who want to hear.  He said He is the truth, the way and the life, and no-one comes to the Father except through Him.  He alone died for our sins and shed His Blood to save us, so give Him the glory great things He has done.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, those first disciples had great courage from living with and knowing Jesus in person, but we have this same Jesus living in our hearts. Let us be bold to defy the enemy tactics that blind the world. Let us use His name to do miracles that will draw the deceived towards the truth. In Jesus's name. Amen.