“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene.””
In chapter 3, in the book of Acts, we read of Peter and John’s compassion towards a crippled beggar. As they prayed in the name of Jesus Christ, the crippled man jumped up, walking around and praising God. This caused a great stir among the priests and Pharisees, as this man begged at the gates of the temple for forty years. Sadly the priests and Pharisees were not as overjoyed as the rest of the crowds so they decided to arrest Peter and John.
Today’s reading is taken from chapter 4, where Peter and John are facing trial before the council. Interestingly, the council members were made up of exactly the same members that condemned Jesus to His death. Peter and John had every right to be fearful of their arrest and imminent judgement. In fact Peter denied Jesus a few months earlier in front of less authoritative figures. Yet something was different here. After being questioned by the council, “by what power or in whose name have you done this,” Peter being filled with the Spirit answered them with a statement that blew them away.
Peter (and John), boldly proclaimed that the crippled beggar was healed by the Name of Jesus Christ, the Man they killed but whom God raised from the dead. Such was Peter’s eloquence and boldness in speech, that it left the council dumbfounded as to how these two ordinary men with no particular training where so compelling and knowledgeable in the scriptures. Yet Peter was fulfilling exactly what Jesus had prophesied would happen in Luke 12:11-12 “And when you are brought to trail in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.”
The same is true for us today. God empowers us through the Holy Spirit and gives us the words to say to bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ in whatever situation we are faced with.