Awe and Wonder – Part Fourteen

Awe and Wonder – Part Fourteen

‘3 v. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.
23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.
24 Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.
25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all people on earth will be blessed.’
26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.’

4 v. 1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.
2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.
4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.’
(Acts 3 v. 22 – 4 v. 4)

Peter rounds off his address with an appeal through Moses and the prophets, an appeal to the tradition and the covenant God made with the fathers of the faith – Jesus is the One God has ‘raised up’, the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, to bring God’s people back (repentance / turning from wickedness).

The words ‘you must listen to everything he tells you’ (from Deuteronomy 18) remind me of a couple of instances in the life of Jesus.
Firstly, during the account of the first miracle, in Cana, at the wedding feast, when the wine runs out and Mary (Jesus’s mother) says to the servants at the party ‘do whatever He tells you to’ (John 2 v. 5)
Secondly, at the transfiguration, when a few of the disciples (including Peter and John, interestingly) see Jesus mysteriously caught up in a glorious conversation with Moses, Elijah, the voice of God is heard, ‘This is my beloved Son, listen to Him / pay attention to all that He says.’ (Mark 9 v. 7)
Disciples take time, every day, to listen to Jesus, through His Word, through prayer, through His Spirit, and not only to listen, but to pay attention to, to follow through on, to live out ‘everything He tells you.’

For this address / preach Peter and John are taken to prison overnight, to appear before the religious leaders the next day.
Despite this many more heard and believed the message.
The gospel is already unstoppable, and history has shown that when authorities try to silence it, it sometimes grows and spreads even more vehemently.

Give me courage, Father God
to speak well of You when I’m with others today.
Give me opportunities, Lord Jesus
to link other people to Your life-giving presence,
and help me to make time and space
to hear Your voice every day.
Give me faith, Holy Spirit
to believe that I am part of Your plan
to bring the good news to all the ends of the earth
and to make disciples of all people.
In Your name,
Holy Trinity,

Phil Gough