Jesus was the first to encounter people and show us what miracles were. When Jesus was on earth with his twelve disciples, He preached the Good News to all people and also healed many that came into contact with Him.
Jesus encountered those who were not worthy or too ill to heal and He set the captives free. And before Jesus went to the cross and defeated death, He would give these commissions to His twelve disciples:
“These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.” Matthew 10:5-8
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
With the commission came backlash and opposition, but it also came with the opportunity to see miracles come alive through the acts of healing and through the words preached of Christ.
Miracles are something that are beautiful, but can also create great controversy. It can create division and strife, but if we see the miracles point back to Jesus, isn’t that enough?
I have seen miracles in my life that are unexplainable and have witnessed the backlash of the aftermath of seeing God do mighty things that resulted in fear of the “what ifs” and the unknowns. We see in the book of Acts the beginning of the many miracles, signs, and wonders the disciples took from what they learned from their Teacher, their Savior. And with boldness from the Holy Spirit, they would continue the great commission Jesus commanded them to do.
Beginning in Acts 5:12 the Apostles regularly did signs and wonders and the many believers, both men and women, came to Christ. There were those who did not believe or could understand, but the Spirit of God was moving and healing the sick and many were so amazed.
However, there was opposition and jealousy (Acts 5:17) from religious rulers because many gathered in the name of Jesus and not to them. Even the name of JESUS was controversial and no one wanted anyone to proclaim Christ. The Apostles would soon be arrested by the high priest and counsel because they were performing miracles and preaching Jesus, but that would not stop the work God would do.
This shows God’s authority and power that no man can stop the move of God.
In Acts 5:20, an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and freed them! The angel told them to go to the temple and “speak to the people all the words of this Life.”
The Apostles were obedient to the commission Christ gave by the authority given to them by the Holy Spirit to heal the sick and perform miracles.
Not for their own glory, but for Christ’s.
Many came to be healed, many became part of the early church, but even in their obedience, there was great pushback. Miracles, signs, and wonders, are works by the Holy Spirit and if we are willing to be the empty vessels and trust God, what do you think could happen?
There are times God may ask you to go pray for someone. God may ask you to ask that person for healing. However, it is not for your own glory or your own strength, it is to point it back to the ultimate Healer.
The Apostles were first hand witnesses to Jesus’ ministry and they could have ran in fear after Jesus defeated death and been like “nope, that is not the life I want.”
Following Jesus costs us something. It is not going to be easy and you are going to face pushback. Especially if God is commanding you to be bold and pray over the person who needs it. What if He wanted to reveal a great miracle or in our human perspective a small miracle so that person could see the glory and love of Christ for that person? Have we become fearful of the what if?
After the Apostles were arrested they could have tamed down their ministry. They could have gone back to what their life was like before, but they didn’t. They could not because of what they had witnessed. When the Holy Spirit came upon them and they were given the commandment to go, their lives were never the same. Their lives were devoted to God and in their obedience to Him, they went back to the temple as they were commanded to do.
Even when they were told to not even teach in Jesus’ name, Peter said this:
“We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Acts 5:29-32
“We must obey God rather than men.” This is the commission God has given us today. God’s Spirit is alive today. He is still showing us miracles, signs and wonders. God is still saving lost people who need to know what Jesus did on the cross for them. God is still tugging on our hearts to pray together for a miracle for our families, for our churches, and for our nation. God is not finished yet. The time is now. We can no longer hesitate and wait, but to trust God when He says go.
In Acts 5:40-42, the council beat the apostles and those who were with them and let them go, but the hearts of the apostles were filled with joy that they would be seen worthy of such suffering for Christ.
The result was joy in obedience in Christ.
When I read this section of scripture, I read that God used miracles to draw people in, but it didn’t stop with the signs and wonders. It continued with the preaching of the Good News of Jesus Christ. That the name of Jesus Christ brought fear to man because of the power and authority of the name of Jesus Christ.
The greatest miracle is that Jesus defeated death and rose so we can have eternal life with Him.
I believe God is not done with miracles through His church. We may not know the outcomes and it may take time or it may be in that instant moment, but God is still using His church if we are willing. How He sees us worthy to be used by Him! What an honor He has given us to even experience a glimpse of what God is still doing to this day.
~ Sarah Moon