My friend Pete won’t leave me alone. I went to visit him in Acts 10 and 11, and now he won’t let me leave. Last week I posted twice about my friend Pete: the first time because he was a trouble-maker of the best kind; the second time because he’s so insightful about the nature of the gospel.
Now I’m stuck on what the kind of stuff Pete did in towns like Lydda, Sharon, and Joppa. He healed the sick and raised the dead. Peter. Not Jesus.
So Monday’s question: how did Peter do these things? Interestingly, he supplies the answer himself in Acts 10: 38, while he’s talking about Jesus:
"You know . . . how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him."
What’s the connection between Peter’s eye-popping miraculous ministry and his description of Jesus? Peter had a specific insight into Jesus’ ministry. It energized Peter’s ministry. Here is is, plain and simple: Peter understood that Jesus worked miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by the fact that Jesus was God’s son. Please take a moment and read Acts 10:38 again--the two characteristics of Jesus that marked his actions were the Spirit’s power and the presence of God. That’s a pattern he invites us to imitate.
Here’s the connection to Peter’s ministry: Peter understood that if Jesus accomplished his works by relying upon the Spirit, then Peter could do the same thing. How did Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead? By the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. How did Peter heal the sick and raise the dead? By the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
One final step: what about us? If Jesus and Peter both leaned on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, what are the possibilities if we lean on the same Spirit and power? That’s more than a Monday meditation, it’s a call to experience Jesus in a whole new way.