S174P3 – The early Church: expecting God to move

Acts 3:11-12

While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade.  When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you?  Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?”

Like any small village, everyone knew everyone else.  She was not ostracized, but the other villagers referred to her as the girl who could not walk.  Others had names, but it was her disability that identified who she was there.  One day, after a trip to town, she emerged from the rickety bus in an astounding manner.  As she walked from the vehicle toward home, she was flocked by neighbors who wanted to know how this was possible.  She told them of two women who laid hands on her in town and prayed for her.  Her neighbors asked how it was possible that those women could have healed her of this disability.  She responded by simply saying that those women had not healed her at all.

I see two things happening in this passage.  First, the Israelites seem to be taken aback by this miracle.  It is as if they did not expect the work of Christ to manifest among them.  Peter asked them why they were shocked, because he wanted them to expect God to move among his people.  They should have expected to do what Jesus did.  Second, he had to make sure they understood that a man did not do this work.  If their shock at this healing was the result of them thinking that Peter had some kind of magical powers, that had to be corrected.  He was not the source of the miracle.  He was just a vehicle, and they could be vehicles of the same work.  Those who really know the Lord expect him to move through his children and credit him when He does.

We must reach a delicate balance between expectation and wonder.  Although it should not surprise us that God works miracles through us, it also should not be a mundane event when we experience it.  When we see the Spirit move in awesome ways, we must recognize that He is the catalyst there.  It is something we should expect, but it still should bring us to a place of awe and wonder when we encounter it.  Peter walked in the power he expected to manifest, and he made sure not to let pride bring him to a place of self-glorification or apathy.  Father, make us accustomed to waking in the miraculous yet still in wonder at your mighty works.