A man lame from birth suddenly starts to walk, leaps and praises God, right in the middle of the Temple! I bet that was a scene. Faith moved a mountain and the authorities were confounded. They threw Peter and John in prison for the night and had a meeting the next morning. Peter and John did not back down under question and were very clear that the miracle was done by Jesus and the establishment had refused to believe in Jesus and crucified him. “What are we going to do with these men?” the leaders lament. Stories of faith seen by people, force us to re-examine our own faith.
I remember in my youth, our group first played on a guitar praise songs during worship. Until then only the piano and organ were considered appropriate. The pastor’s wife stomped out as we sang. New and different does not necessarily mean wrong or heretical. How do we decide? The Temple leaders did not go to Scripture or prophesy but it seems they were afraid of the people. Public opinion is seldom a good indicator of truth. Popularity does not make right. How do you gauge truth so that you keep growing?
One way to evaluate is to see if the reasoning is consistent with the over arching theme of Scripture. Picking a verse here and there and stringing them together in an argument often ends up being divisive as seen by our various Christian traditions and denominations that all think they are right. I find it interesting that Peter goes to the source of the healing, Acts 4:10-12,
“ this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11 This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.’12 “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.””
Peter gives credit to the name of Jesus and not to himself and his own faith. He accurately identifies the source of power, God.
So how do you evaluate truth and grow spiritually? Public opinion? Or can you identify the hand of God? Perhaps our prayer today is to ask God to open our eyes that we can recognize him working in our world. Remove prejudice and confront us about areas of blindness that prevents us from growing. Speak Lord, we listen!