Lent 2023 Day 21: Fri 17 Mar
The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.
Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought those who were ill into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing those who were ill and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
The apostles are gaining recognition. We do not know what particular signs or wonders were being performed, but if all the apostles, and possibly other disciples, too, were moving in faith, God will have equipped them for his purposes. Think of all the miracles, healings and other signs that Jesus performed during his ministry. There’s no reason why people now would be seeing anything less.
The apostles were a fearsome bunch, too, though none of them would have used that to their advantage. People gave them respect, and crowds were building up in Jerusalem. Imagine the streets around the Temple or where Peter and the apostles walked being congested with the sick and those who cared for them. The scene must have looked like a disaster area.
Faith was riding high. Faith builds upon faith, and faith builds upon witnessing or hearing about healings. Everyone wanted some of what was on offer. People had faith for healing, for cleansing and wholeness.
Do you think that Peter getting in your light as he passes by you (hoping that he is on the sunny side of you!) is going to effect some amazing biological change of itself? Of course not! But people believed that this would give them the healing they sought. And it did. Can you imagine the crowds that came out of the shadows so that they may receive healing?
The last verse of today’s reading says that all of them were healed. So, broken and misshapen limbs were mended; useless legs were revived; tongues were loosed; dull eyes were made bright; muffled ears resonated; anxious hearts were calmed; impure spirits were cast out; wombs were revived to fertility; illnesses and maladies were washed away. And in many cases, all Peter did was to walk past them!
The Church is growing as the miracles increase. It’s not the other way round.
What if Peter walked out on a cloudy day?
Could this happen again today? If yes, then how will you be part of it? If no, then has the Church stopped growing?
Are there areas where today’s healthcare system (assuming proper funding) falls short?
Father God, I look back to the early days of the Church and how the Apostles moved in power. If I and my church fellowship today have opted out of areas of our calling, would you show us where, and open up the way forward so that we may announce your Kingdom in power? Amen.