Acts 4:14

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Sunday, 16 January 2022

And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. Acts 4:14

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The previous verse noted the boldness of Peter and John despite being uneducated and untrained. It also noted that these two had been with Jesus. With that thought in mind, a thought that brought them into union with the One the council had supposedly done away with, the thought is surely that they must be punished for speaking about Jesus and the resurrection. However, there was a problem with that. Luke introduces that with the words, “And seeing the man.”

As in verse 4:10, it is evident that the man who was healed was right there in front of everyone. He would have been known by sight to anyone who regularly passed through the gate where he sat. His deformed and emaciated legs would have been readily apparent to them, and yet he now stood before them healed. And more, the credit has gone solely to the One they had crucified, and whom the apostles avowed had been resurrected. The apostles were proclaiming that it was in the power of His name that the council was seeing the man “who had been healed standing with them.”

This was a huge problem for them, because if every one of them had passed by the man time and time again, and if he had remained unhealed with each passing, it then meant that they – the leading men of Israel – were unable to do what these uneducated men were able to do by simply proclaiming healing in the name of Jesus.

They had seen the miracles of Jesus during His entire ministry. Again, and again, they had challenged Him and spoken against Him. And now, those who followed Him had performed their own miracle. But they had done it under the authority of His name. This would only be effective if His name truly had power, and His name could only hold such power if He was alive. The conundrum for them was an impossible one. As such, “they could say nothing against it.”

The Greek word, antilegó, translated as “say against,” signifies “to contradict.” It is a compound word coming from anti, or “opposite to,” and legó, meaning “to say.” The apostles have made a claim that the man was healed through Jesus. He stood there healed, something otherwise completely impossible for them to have done. As such, the authorities could not contradict their claim. If they could not do that, then they could not punish Peter and John for any wrongdoing, even if they wished to. And verse 4:21 indicates that this is exactly what the leaders wished to do.

Life application: Many have come to Christ over the years. Some simply accept the gospel, but their lives don’t need a lot of change. They simply believe and are grateful for what happened. Some have larger changes where it is evident a new direction has taken place. Friends of family may see it and be curious, or they may think the person has simply flipped out. They accept the change but aren’t sure of the power behind it. And then, there are those whose lives are so utterly changed that it truly is an inexplicable conversion.

Such a person may have been a brawler, a drunkard, a drug addict, a prostitute, or some other lost soul. Nobody would have ever thought he or she would amount to anything again. And yet, there he or she is, cleaned up and completely whole again. When asked what happened and the answer is “Jesus,” it is something that simply cannot be contradicted. What was otherwise ruined and on the way to the garbage dump of human history suddenly becomes a precious gem in the stream of human existence.

Such people are living testimonies to the healing power of the name of Jesus. But just because many believers did not have such tremendous conversions, it doesn’t change the fundamental truth that every person who comes to Christ has had such a change. They each went from being 100% lost to 100% saved. Let us remember this. It is an argument that anyone can use while witnessing to others.

God does not grade on a bell curve. Rather, there are the redeemed of the Lord, and then there are all others. The problem isn’t the severity of the sin, nor the amount of sin in one’s life. The problem is that there is sin in one’s life. Let us each be thankful for the healing that came about through Christ’s cross, and let us be willing to tell others of the gift that they too can share in. It is a gift that everyone needs.

Heavenly Father, we are all in need of Jesus. Being saved through His cross is something that no person can do without if they want to be restored to You. Help us to be able to explain this fundamental truth to all who we encounter along life’s path. Everything else will find its place after that, but help us to remember to get this truth through first. Help us to share the good news that is found in the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life through Jesus. Amen.