Let Loose! Please find a quiet place to focus on these scriptures, asking for an open mind and heart to hear God’s wisdom for us today.
The Message (MSG)
8-12 With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”
13-14 They couldn't take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?
I like The Message version of these verses. It tells the announcement of the narrow way of Christianity from the perspective of the very people who killed Jesus - the people with whom Jesus lived as a human being. And Peter was “filled with the Holy Spirit” – bravely stating (“letting loose”) the truth that the power of healing the lame man came from Jesus, NOT Peter himself. AND, that Jesus is the only way we can be saved, “Salvation comes no other way”. Pretty clear, but Peter knew that his life was in jeopardy to be making this statement. Jesus’ disciples risked their lives to proclaim the Good News.
As I follow the “Explore God” movement in the Austin area, I’m so thankful for the tools of Pastor’s messages on Sunday, missional community meetings where we can talk about the questions seekers might ask, and the information and videos on the exploreGod.com website. I’m making little baby steps at work to let people know that I’m more than a “spiritual” person – they need to know the “truth” just like Peter proclaimed to the people around him so many years ago. I also recognize that I can’t bring anyone to the truth without the Holy Spirit. These verses are a reminder that I’m just a tool for the Holy Spirit to use to bring His people close. What a privilege! What a challenge! How spoiled and blessed am I that God put me in a place where I’m not risking my life to proclaim that I follow Jesus!
Father God – make me a tool every day to spread your love and the salvation that only comes through Jesus Christ to people seeking You. I’m awed and quite frankly a little worried that you would choose me, so please send your Holy Spirit to guide my words and actions, so the people can only see You. Help me to “let loose” like Peter! Amen.