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Acts 4:1-12, Peter and John before the Council

Wednesday, May 23

Reject or Believe?

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

 reject or accept?

Peter and John continued to heal, preach and teach in the synagogues. Some believed. Others were angry that they were stirring up long-time traditions and doctrines. They made it clear that the work they did and the words they spoke were in the name of Jesus, the one who the prophets had warned would be rejected; the one who was raised from the dead, making resurrection for all people a reality. It was hard for some to believe their words, but their actions seemed to speak truth. Who could heal and perform miracles apart from God?

Have you ever faced a situation where your prior beliefs stood in conflict with what your eyes beheld? When something you see or experience shakes your beliefs to the core? At this you stand at a fork in the road. You can reject what you are experiencing to follow what you've always believed. Or you can question what you've always believed to let the new reality of the experience wash over you. For me it's a question of growth. I choose to question my beliefs (I must admit that I'm not always right about everything) in order to learn and grow. When I do, the new reality of what God can do washes over me and I am bathed in growth, strength, and love.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Acts 4:1-12

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.

The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”