Heather has supplied the notes this week.The passage can be read here.
If we consider the number of reality TV shows featured today, it’s obvious that people are very interested in other people’s lives and personal experiences. In today’s passage, Peter and John are rock solid in their conviction that they MUST share their personal experience of Jesus with others (v20) despite any consequences. They cannot help speaking….they are ‘compelled’ – their experience of Jesus is so real and genuine that it has to overflow (compare Paul’s similar comments in 2 Corinthians 5:14)
Peter and John’s defence has been polite but courageous, clear and powerful. The religious leaders are ‘gobsmacked’. This lovely phrase which follows – ‘they took note that they had been with Jesus’ (v13) – is packed with meaning. What a commendation for them and what an aspiration for us!
The Jewish leaders’ initial thoughts are purely of damage limitation – they couldn’t deny the miracle but they would do what they could to stop any further progression – note their complete indifference to any truth in Peter’s words and his claim for Jesus. You might have thought that, being the religious experts, they would be interested in following through on Peter’s claim of fulfilled prophecy and salvation through the name of Jesus (v11-12), or even challenged by Peter’s assertion that in continuing to speak out, they were obeying God – the inference being that by contrast, the religious leaders were going against God.
Just as the presence of the healed man (v14) was irrefutable evidence to everyone that something had happened which no man of himself had the power to do, so the quiet confidence and bearing of Peter and John (v13) revealed that again something extraordinary had happened to them too.
In our lives too there should be something about us, whether words or behaviour, (but preferably both), which should be conveying to others truth about God to those around us.
Perhaps this story should be a prompt to us to think through what exactly it is that Jesus has done for us in our everyday lives, as well as the hope we have for the future, in words which non-believers would understand and relate to – ie how the presence of the Holy Spirit has helped us with stressful situations; how he has given our lives purpose and meaning; how he has delivered us from anger, temper, moodiness etc…
Let’s praise God for all He has done for us, and ask that our love for God should overflow, so others will notice.