Updated: May 12
Acts 4:8-12 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers
and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an
act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10
then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus
Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the
dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “‘the stone you
builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in
no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by
which we must be saved.”
In the name of Jesus Christ, by whose name we must be saved, dear Christian
Did you hear them? I heard four of them in this reading, but they were not “in
your face” like most car dealership announcements, nor were they highlighted with neon
lights like the Las Vegas Strip. They were subtle and could easily be overlooked, but I
hope you will not.
They are miracles— God-worked things! We often think of them as extra-
ordinary events, unusual occurrences, worthy of fanfare and publicity, but they do not
necessarily need to be. I feel comfortable citing childbirth, a rainbow in the sky, and
breathing as miracles because only God makes them possible.
Because we want to give glory to God in all things and for all things, please
DON’T OVERLOOK THE MIRACLES the Apostle Luke writes about in today’s reading
from the Acts of the Apostles. Make sure you see and give thanks to God for the I.
Healing II. Filling III. Rising and IV. Saving.
Jesus’ apostles Peter and John had been taken into custody by “the priests, the
captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees” (4:1) showing that the Jewish church
held a lot of secular authority in Jerusalem, just as they had weeks or months before when
they apprehended Jesus and put him on trial. The reason for the apostles’ arrest was just
as unfounded as Jesus’ arrest: “the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming
in Jesus the resurrection of the dead” (4:2).
Peter and John were not “rock stars” among the people like Jesus had been, but
something had just happened that “all the people were astonished and came running to
them” (3:11). Yes, you guessed it, it was a miracle! Don’t overlook this miracle...of
A 40+ year-old man, who was never able to walk, asked for money from Peter
and John, but instead received something much more valuable. “Peter said, “Silver or
gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the
man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk.”
Peter and John knew who had healed the man and praised God! The people
knew who had healed the man and praised God! The man knew who had healed him and
Don’t overlook the miracle of healing in your life and praise God when he works
it! Thank your nurse, thank your doctor, thank the medicine, but, above all, thank the one
who provides all of these and who heals, whether you consider it a miracle or not!
Whether it is the common cold, the crude Coronavirus, the cruddy cancer, when God
heals, it is a miracle and he deserves the credit.
After spending the night in jail, Peter and John were brought out for questioning.
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said.... Did you hear that description? Don’t
overlook this miracle... of filling!
This is the same Peter who had fled from Jesus when he was being arrested, who
had denied him three times while he was put on trial and who had questioned his
resurrection. Yet, having been re-instated as one of Jesus’ disciples and told to “feed
Jesus’ sheep and lambs” (Jn 21), Peter confidently addressed the foreigners and friends
on Pentecost and now addresses the rulers and elders of the people.
God’s people, filled with the Holy Spirit, have long been confessing their saving
faith in Christ Jesus in the presence of others. Last week in worship, we heard the
Apostle Paul confidently confess his faith in front of a King and a Governor (Ac 26). 500
years ago to this day, a man named Martin Luther stood before the politically powerful of
Germany and the religiously regal of Rome at the Imperial Diet of Worms and, when
asked if he would take back anything he had written, confidently stated, “I am bound by
the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot
and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against
conscience.” “I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me, Amen.” The hall
erupted: Luther’s friends were overjoyed; Spanish soldiers shouted, “to the fire with
him!”; Luther left the hall, raising his arms in victory once outside.
Before whom will you be called upon to confess your faith in Jesus? Your
neighbor? Your boss? Your college professor? A terrorist? Will you do it when the
Some people believe you are not filled with the Holy Spirit unless you have a
conversion experience or unless you can speak without fear in the situations described
above. But God tells us he sends his Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament and that
he gives spiritual gifts in various ways and in various amounts to his people.
So, if you are wondering whether or not you are really filled with the Holy Spirit,
if you have not confessed your faith in any of these situations or if you are so fearful to
do it, let me assure you that such filling with the Holy Spirit took place at your baptism,
continues with the gift of the Lord’s Supper and occurs when God’s Word is proclaimed.
Do you see how important worship and Bible study are and why we stress those for
young and old alike? So, keep connected to these means of God’s grace so the Holy
Spirit fills your heart with faith and your mouth with proclamation. Don’t overlook this
miracle of filling, even if it may not always seem like a miracle!
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said.... Salvation is found in no one else,
for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
Don’t overlook this miracle...of saving!
While the disabled man and the people around him that day may have been
praising God for this gift of walking, Peter made sure they did not forget the greatest gift
God gives. While you and I may praise God for our spouse, our children, our home, our
health, our food, our job (and rightly so!), the best thing God has given us and for which
he deserves the ultimate honor is our salvation.
We were sinful, yet God saved us! We were separated from God because of those
sins, yet God saved us! We were sentenced to death in hell because of those sins, yet
God saved us!
Indeed, we must be saved...by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. No
questions! No exceptions! Jesus lived our life...perfectly. Jesus died our
death...eternally. The same gracious power that gave this man his ability to walk gave us
our salvation and ability to follow Jesus in saving faith all the way to heaven.
Peter mentioned one more miracle here that proves everything I just said. It is by
the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised
from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is “‘the stone you
builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’
God raised Jesus from the dead! The one rejected by many as an imposter, as
insignificant, as incapable of fulfilling the role as promised Messiah was instead raised to
life and exalted by God to the highest place! He is the most important part of our daily
lives and the reason for our eternal life! Don’t overlook this miracle...of rising!
Without Jesus’ rising from the dead, we have no Savior! Without Jesus’ rising
from the dead, we have no saving faith! Without Jesus’ rising from the dead, we have no
assurance that we will rise and live forever in heaven! Jesus’ resurrection is our Easter
joy and our Easter confidence!
Don’t overlook the miracles of healing, filling, saving and rising! Trust your
Savior God to work them in your life!