Summary: When Peter speaks of Jesus, the Holy Spirit convicts. He was in a crisis but God turned it into an opportunity for the Gospel.
Two men plus Jesus and you have a miracle.
• You do not need a lot of people to make an impact. Just two disciples plus Jesus and you can have a miracle.
• And that was just the beginning. The next thing we know it caused a stir and a preaching opportunity.
• The Name of Jesus was proclaimed, and about 5000 men (4:4) believed and were saved. If you count the women you may probably have at least 10,000 people.
Two men and that’s enough for God to do a miracle, and another even greater miracle of seeing 10,000 lives saved.
• Those who accuse them were deeply impressed. 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
• These ordinary fishermen impressed the rulers and authorities of the day, so much so that they were astonished.
• Peter and John had been with Jesus, they concluded. Jesus transformed them!
A Persian Proverb says “a lump of clay emitted a beautiful odour, and on being asked for explanation, replied, “I have been near a rose!”
• The life of Jesus had been rubbed onto these disciples.
• You know Jesus? That qualifies you. You can be an effective witness for Him.
• You need not have to be highly educated to be effective. You need not have to be popular or influential to bring results.
God delights to use the very ordinary things in life to put His message across.
• Those who care to put their faith in Him and trust Him.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE BECAUSE YOU KNOW JESUS.
The early church had none of the “advantages” that we have today.
• They did not have big budgets provided by wealthy donors.
• They lacked credentials from well-known seminaries (there isn’t any). They were not trained in theology, leadership or church management.
• Most of the preachers had jail records; they were wanted men by the authorities.
So what was the secret of their success? They know Jesus.
• All they know about was Jesus, and that’s enough. Tell the people about Jesus.
• Peter did that the first time and 3000 were saved (2:41), and now another 5000 men.
• By all means, we go for all the courses and trainings we can get, but remember, it is not these skills that win souls.
Tell them about Jesus. Peter and John were not afraid to tell people about Him.
• Peter denied knowing Jesus earlier, but he is not going to deny Him now.
• They had already been jailed one night (for preaching to the crowd chapter 3). They may put them in jail for a longer time. Their lives may be at stake.
• But there was no sign of letting up. Peter went on to preach Jesus.
This time there were not ordinary men on the street.
• He was facing the rulers, elders and teachers of the law (4:5) – this is the Sanhedrin (religious court) – they are the religious echelon, learned and powerful men of Jerusalem.
• These unschooled men are now facing the court! But Peter just takes it as a captive audience for the Gospel.
• Whether to the man in the street, or to the high and mighty in society, there is no difference to the apostles. All of them need Jesus.
The Bible says in 4:8 “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them….”
• He was not alone in this. The Holy Spirit was working through Peter.
• It wasn’t just Peter speaking, but the Holy Spirit speaking through him.
• No wonder thousands were convicted each time Peter spoke. The Holy Spirit was there to convict the hearts of men.
WHEN WE SPEAK OF JESUS, THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTS.
• He is coming alongside – that’s the word paraklesis (Comforter) - "a calling to one’s side"
THE WHOLE HALL HEARD THE MALLET
In a major convention, the presiding officer will signal for the start of the meeting by hitting a small mallet (just like a judge or an auctioneer).
When doing sound tests, the audio engineer for the convention discovered that the noise the mallet actually made was not impressive enough to fill the huge hall, so he pre-recorded an "ideal mallet sound" that was played over the loudspeakers when the presiding officer struck the desk with the mallet. It triggers an "electronically reproduced mallet pulse."
It was heard throughout the entire hall.
When we witness for Christ, the Holy Spirit is that ‘loudspeaker’.
• He moves the hearts of thousands who are listening.
• So one person set on fire by the Lord can infect thousands.