The moment of truth, sending chills down their spine, haunted the scene. This was the moment in which the words and encouragement drilled into their minds from the ministry of Christ would come through to save them or sink and drown them in the threats of the men who stood before them.
There stood elders and priests and scribes eagerly awaiting the response to the life or death question. “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?” (Acts 4:7) Peter and John stood at a crossroad: Open their mouths and allow the Holy Spirit to speak for them, just as Jesus promised or completely cave in to the astute beings hanging on their every word.
There were elders…role models and highly respected men in the single most religious city of Jerusalem. Men whose every thought and motive and belief was grounded in many years of religious experience. These strong pillars loomed over the young and “inexperienced” disciples of Christ. Then there were priests. Their lineage stretched to the earliest branches of the Israeli heritage. No one knew more than the priests of the operations of the Holy temple. No one rose above them in their knowledge of sacrifices and the history of the desperation of bloodshed in order to cover the multitude of sins. Lastly, standing before them, were the Scribes…the academics of the group. Well trained in writing and interpretation of the ancient Law, merely their presence had to have brought out the worst intimidation to these untrained men. The Scribes were the lawyers of the day and experts in legal document, recording deeds and copying Scripture.
So there you have it. The best of the best…the cream of the crop…each prestige leader fervently waited for these simple men to respond to the million dollar question. And answer, they did! “Filled with the Holy Spirit…” and with great boldness, Peter informs the high arch’s that their previous healing was performed in the name of Jesus Christ. He continues to enlighten them that it was they who crucified Jesus and it was God who raised him from the dead. He even supports his argument with Scripture, astounding the prideful teachers. The elders were not accustomed to the younger men standing up to them with such audaciousness. The priests must have been floored by their revolutionary declarations. They “….were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)
No matter your background or training or education or, even lack thereof, when we have been with Jesus, the Holy Spirit can and will fill us up and equip us in mighty ways. Peter and John were bold but only after they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were equipped for they had spent much time with Jesus. Be encouraged by Peter and John. Spend time with Jesus regularly. And prepare yourself for colossal results!
“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” John 14:26