8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
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.”
This was no longer the Peter who sulked in the shadows while Jesus was taken to be crucified, who denied knowing Him.
Courage is very similar to faith, or at least true faith inspires courage. Peter was unafraid because whatever threats the Sanhedrin made, Peter’s life belonged to Jesus. Faith operates the nerves that flex the muscle of courage. But they both need exercise.
The priests and rulers saw that these uneducated, ordinary men “has been with Jesus”. Almost right: Peter and John not only HAD BEEN with Jesus, they were at that moment WITH Jesus. They were filled with the Holy Spirit (v8), just as Jesus had promised, “And surely I am with you always” (Matt 28:20).
We are not at war, nor are we undergoing persecution, so courage sometimes seems a redundant quality. Not true!! Every day we are called to demonstrate courage to (a) live out our faith before others, (b) risk rejection to tell people about Jesus, (c) make moral choices that go against the majority, (d) hold on to convictions in the face of criticism (in love, of course), and (e) press on to invest our lives in the Kingdom of God and not just go with the flow.
PRAY: Lord, You promise to be with us always. So today I trust You and ask You to fill me with Your Spirit and with the boldness (aka courage) to do all You call me to do. I refuse to live hiding in the shadows any more. Help me to walk in the light where You are. Amen.