Daily Devotion – April 21, 2021 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison

Acts 4:5-12
4:5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem,
4:6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.
4:7 When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”
4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,
4:9 if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed,
4:10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.
4:11 This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’
4:12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

The day Peter and John healed the lame beggar that everyone knew at the gates of the Temple, they spoke to the excited and growing crowds and proclaimed that it was Jesus’s spirit who had healed the man, the same Jesus that this same crowd had crucified by asking Pilate to put him to death. This proclamation got them thousands of new believers and one other thing: arrested.

The day after Peter and John healed the lame beggar that everyone knew at the gates of the Temple, they were brought before the religious authorities.  The same exact religious authorities Jesus had been brought before.  The authorities were always curious about healers, especially healers proclaiming the messiahship of someone those leaders had convicted and helped put to death.

This is a big moment for Jesus’s disciples. It is a test of how far they themselves are willing to go in order to do what Jesus had asked of them: proclaim that the Kingdom of God HAD come near and that Jesus was in fact that Kingdom embodied in a person.

How did our friends the disciples do? Read aloud again verses 9-12 once again and then tell me.

This is the gospel, the good news, in 112 words. It is leveled at the people who had the power to have Jesus killed, but it is spoken to them without malice. It is 100% solid good news. These disciples were not ashamed or afraid to say it.

Who in your life is suffering today for whom a little bit of this good news might just make a difference for them? Who in your life is God tapping you on the shoulder to tell you about today? Who might you reach out to in order to brighten their life with hope and healing? I’ll bet there’s someone. We don’t need to be as brave as Peter and John. But we might need to take just one step toward someone else.

Gracious God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for the Holy Spirit’s power to tap us on the shoulder and remind us to call a friend, a sister, a brother, or a neighbor and remind them that God is always there with them and with us, no matter what life throws at us.   Amen.