Acts

Acts 4:13-22 Obeying God Rather Than Men.

The gospel comes to people not just as one opinion among many, open for discussion among the cacophony of competing worldviews. The gospel actually comes as an imperative and command. We are commanded to repent and believe because we must be saved. These are all necessary because we are all sinners, and the gospel is the only remedy. Besides, when it came to deep intellectual and trained discussions, the apostles were recognized as “uneducated and untrained men” (v. 13 I Cor. 1:27). This caused the people, especially the religious leadership to marvel, because they could not dispute the evidence that accompanied their message-the lame man was healed (v. 14 Cf. Ch. 3). The gospel, from the beginning, was a word accompanied by signs, wonders, miracles, and power. How does one argue against a man who once could not walk and now was healed (vv. 15-16)? So among themselves, the leadership decides that all they can do is to “severely threaten them” and forbid them to speak in Jesus name (vv. 17-18 Cf. 5:28-29, 40).

However, even this decision would prove null and void, because the apostles were already all-in for the Lord. God had chosen and called them to bear apostolic witness, and they would obey God (v. 19). The apostles were called to preach a message which they had both seen and heard, and even though the leadership would further threaten them, they could not but speak. God, in His providence, used the support of all the people, who also witnessed the healing and heard the word, to protect the apostles from the evil intent of the leadership at this time (vv. 20-22). This is what it meant to be among those who were “with Jesus” (v. 13). The apostles themselves were living witnesses of the power that accompanies the gospel message. Luke also makes an interesting note about the lame man. The people glorified God for the miracle, “for the man was over forty years old” (v. 22). This wasn’t a young person who quickly grew out of his lame condition. This man showed that it is never too late for anyone to be touched by God and have their lives changed.

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