Reading for Wednesday, April 11: Acts 4
Boldness is the theme of this chapter. Peter boldly declares that this miraculous healing has occurred through the name of Jesus (v10). But he takes this proclamation even further: And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved,” (v12). We might underestimate the boldness of such a statement. But in the face of the very men who crucified Jesus, Peter is unflinching in his resolve to preach the Risen Savior. Even when the council attempts to muzzle them, Peter again says “we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard,” (v20). This is the power of the empty tomb, emboldening us to proclamation, no matter the consequence.
We find the rest of the disciples praying, but this is bold action as well. Prayer is not passive work; it is perhaps our most active posture. “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness…” (v29). And when they finish, the Spirit boldly replies, shaking the building with His presence.
The chapter closes with another summary statement. The disciples are of the same mind and heart, sharing their lives and their possessions, contributing to the needs of others. “And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all,” (v33). And we’re introduced to a bold, grace-filled character: Barnabas, who will shape the course of the church’s history in a profound way through his encouragement of one of her early persecutors.