“What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.” So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot. For everyone was praising God for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.
And think about the evidence that Peter and John had with them: the man who was once lame now stood beside them, as a witness to his own healing. Right there was before the eyes of all, in that man’s healing, there evidence of Christ’s resurrection.
Because the same Jesus that went about healing others before His death was still healing others after His resurrection—now through His church. That healed man was evidence of Jesus being fully alive, and making others more alive. How could Peter and John not want to speak boldly, when their eyes were fixed on such incontrovertible evidence?
The resurrection power of Christ is before our eyes, daily. The person worshipping next to me on a Sunday is evidence that Jesus is fully alive. For we were all once dead in sin, but been made alive in Christ by grace! What a miracle!
It wasn’t just the story of the healing that emboldened them, but also the visual reminder of a transformed life—for the man himself STOOD beside them. I wonder how often we let fear consume us because we don’t let Christ open our eyes to the visible transformations in the lives of others around us? I wonder how willfully blind we make ourselves, through fear? I wonder if we would be more bold if we chose to see what’s really going on: our neighbor’s transformation means Jesus is fully alive!