The unmistakable mark of God

Acts 4:13-22

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”

18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

Peter and John were skilled fishermen. They’d been doing it their whole lives! But here they are teaching, boldly speaking a message that is in opposition to the religious leaders. They don’t have the years of training these religious leaders have had, but they carry the authority of Jesus. The people are amazed and captured by what they are seeing and hearing.

Above all though, they are captured by one particular unmistakable mark of God: restoration. To see a man who had been so debilitated his entire life restored in a moment caused the people to turn their eyes to God, praising Him. It was also something the religious leaders could not dispute.

Do we as a church carry this unmistakable mark of God? Are people who walk through our doors restored? Is church a place where people are made whole by the one and only God?

Lord, please make your church a place of restoration. Send us out to bring your restoring name to the darkest places. May people look at us and recognise that we have been with you Jesus. May they look at us and see you and the restoration only you can bring.

Written by Rhiannon Mellor

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