Threat in the Portico

Read: Acts 4:1-22

By what power or by what name did you do this? (v. 7)

The Jewish leaders were sick of hearing the name of Jesus. Before he was crucified, everyone had been talking about him. The more people talked, the more of a threat he seemed. The leaders thought they had solved their problem when they sentenced Jesus to death. He was becoming too popular, and the world he advocated for felt like too much of a threat to the way things were. For a few days after the crucifixion, the rulers thought they had succeeded—Jesus was gone, and his terrified followers scattered. But just a few weeks later, Jesus’ followers return with the message of a resurrected leader. It would be one thing if it was only a story, but the name of Jesus had the power to heal!

Imagine these authorities’ surprise as they encounter the once-terrified followers of Jesus preaching in the portico! Not only that, they were talking about a resurrection—about the revolutionary rabbi whose word and work could not be defeated by death. Annoyed, or perhaps frightened, these authorities warned Peter and John to keep it quiet, or else. But Peter and John had found a new boldness: they would not be quiet. They were not afraid of what these men could do to them—they followed the one who had defeated death! What a difference a few days had made in these apostles—the truth of the resurrection had soaked into their spirits, and they had been transformed. —Amy Curran

As you pray, ask God to help you understand the power of Jesus’ name.

About the Author

Amy Curran is a gardener, a reader, a runner, and an avid coffee drinker. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, where she runs a community garden and a farm-to-table café for Reality Ministries.