Read Acts 5
Key Verse: Acts 5:20 “Go, stand in the temple courts’, he said, ‘and tell the people the full message of this life!'” (NIV)
If you haven’t said it yourself, you’re probably heard it said, “I’d just love to see one miracle! One would be enough. Then I’d be convinced; then I’d be sure…” Well, suppose we not only saw one miracle, but several, scores even — and what’s more, we were the miracle workers! What a wonder just to see them, do them, and to see the work they were accomplishing in the lives of afflicted human beings. We’d have such a sense of ministry, blessing and, yes, such a sense of significance.
But there would be a danger; too. The danger of distraction. Am I suggesting that miracles might deter the miracle worker from something of higher priority? Yes, I am. Before you get defensive, look at chapter five again. First, look at verses 12-16.
The apostles were doing a great job. As the Holy Spirit enabled them, they were performing “many miraculous signs and wonders among the people” (v.12a). In fact, just the impact of Peter’s shadow was enough to see the sick healed. Evil spirits were being defeated, and “more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number” (v.14). But then they were thrown in jail again –just in time for another miracle.
This time it was an angelic jailbreak. Look at verses 17-21a. What a vindication! I can just hear Peter saying something like “Praise God! He wants us back in Solomon’s Colonnade performing more miracles!”
“No, that’s not exactly what we had in mind,” says the angel, “what we want you to do is, ‘tell the people the full message of this new life'” (v.20) Miracles, as great as they are, are only part of the story. The apostles got the point, “they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people” (v.21). Miracles were not to be the focus. Teaching Jesus was to be the focus; free from distraction.