The Apostles’ Power To Heal Our Friends Part 3

Based on Acts 5:12-16

Read Part 1, Part 2

Solomon’s Porch is also where early Christians and their neighbors would initially bring their sick to be healed. Verse 12 opens with “(M)any signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles… in Solomon’s Portico.” This verse tells us that many miracles were being done right outside the Temple of God in Jerusalem. These miracles are being performed under the very noses of the priests, Levites, and other Jewish officials. The works of God are being done at the very heart of Israel in her capital, right outside her most prized monument. And they’ve seen this before too. 

There was a certain man they gave over to the Romans to be crucified not long ago. Jesus had done miraculous works, more than any the Jews had ever seen or even heard of. The miraculous signs and wonders that He did prove He was sent from God and was indeed His Incarnate Son. Listen to Jesus in John 5:36, where He says to the Jews, “But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.” Later on in John 10:36-37, Jesus says this to the Jews, “do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?” If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Jesus is saying that He is doing “the works of my Father.” That the miracles testify to God’s Presence and approval of Him. This is the common belief among Jewish teachers too. It is not something that Jesus teaches alone. Listen to Nicodemus as he speaks to Jesus in John 3:2 “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” The understanding of the place of miracles put forward here by both Jesus and Nicodemus is the standard teaching among all Jewish teachers. The miraculous, and the Old Testament is full of the miraculous, affirm that Abraham, Moses, Elijah, etc. were called by God and approved of by God. By the same standard they also prove that Jesus was a teacher come from God and that God approved of Him. 

If we jump back to the last chapter, we find something very similar being said about Peter and John by the Sanhedrin. In Acts 4:16, the Jewish leadership says, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.” The lame man serves the same purpose regarding the apostles as the miracles in Jesus’ ministry. They affirm that the apostles are also teachers who come from God and are approved of by God. This is the thrust of what these miracles mean to the educated men of Israel. Their presence proves that God is present and approves of the apostles.

You see, a problem is mounting for the Jewish leadership. It is a powder keg on its way to becoming an atomic weapon. Jesus is gone, and in his place, there are twelve now preaching. And what are they preaching? They are preaching that Jesus has been raised from the dead, is ascended to the right hand of God as Savior and King of Israel, and He has poured out the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. And their preaching, like Jesus’ preaching, is attended to by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no longer just one lame man who has been healed. Now, myriads are walking around and telling the story the apostles are telling. Namely that Jesus is the Christ, the savior of Israel. “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by… the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12) And as we’ll see in a minute, these healings will leave the public worship services in Solomon’s Portico and enter the streets of Jerusalem. 

Look for Part 4 to “The Apostles’ Power To Heal Our Friends” tomorrow.

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