12 Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, 15so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he came by. 16A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.
Peter and John had been warned to stay away from the temple, to stop speaking and healing in the name of this man Jesus, and yet, here they are right back in Solomon’s Portico, preaching and healing. Others (the other followers, the other disciples, other people? we do not know) are afraid and dared not join them, but the people admire them, and great numbers of men and women come to them expecting healing, as they had Jesus. We remember how Jesus’ healing acts annoyed the Pharisees, especially on the Sabbath. Now the Holy Spirit gives that healing power to the apostles. Even where Peter’s shadow fell on the sick and lame, they were healed. Others came from towns all around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those with unclean spirits and all were healed.
Two things to note:
- Peter and John were warned after healing one man; now they return, and in open defiance of the orders of the religious leaders, preach and heal many in the name of Jesus. They are strong and courageous, trusting in God.
- The healing is done, not by Peter and John, but by the power of the Holy Spirit working through them. We do not have the power or the strength to do God’s work, but God does! I read last night at the Administrative Council this passage from Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more! W than all we can ask or imagine”. We must remember that the power is God’s hen we start thinking we can do it ourselves, we will fall on our faces, like the two-year-old who says, “do it myself”! And the other side of that is that we can do far more with God’s power than we ever believe we can do on our own. It was true at the beginning of the church, and it is true today.