Read ACTS 5:12–16
12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick 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. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does it feel like to be bold? Recall a time when you acted boldly because of something you believed in.
Whose ministry is this? Healings, conversions, exorcisms, large crowds—it sounds like Jesus’ ministry, yet it is Peter and the other apostles who are at the center of these events. The political and religious authorities may have attempted to stop Jesus’ ministry by putting him to death, but this passage shows that his ministry continues on unabated.
Verse 12 provides a key to understanding this ministry: it is done “through the apostles” (NRSV). Jesus’ followers are not the source but they are the means through which the Holy Spirit continues Jesus’ ministry and grows his church. The apostles go boldly right into the Temple precinct, the heart of Jewish religious practice, and proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah. When Jesus did this, he was plotted against and killed. The apostles may expect no less, but they go anyway.
Jesus’ ministry to the world still continues. It can be seen whenever the work of the church makes a difference in the world: drawing people to Christ, taking a stand against injustice, serving the weak and transforming lives. We too may boldly act in Jesus’ name, guided by the Holy Spirit.
Pray for the community in which you live and work. Consider how you might live boldly for Jesus in those contexts.