“After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.”
When there is a move of God, it makes no difference what the learned, the powerful, the established authorities say, the people will recognize the hand of God and respond.
They were not going to be held back by reason, theology or understanding.
Something dramatic had happened, something that was outside their realm of possibility. A man, over forty, had been healed of an impossible condition. They responded with awe and praise.
The authorities had no answer other than to stop anymore miracles, from taking place. But they were afraid, “…on account of the people,…”
Punishing the disciples was their only option, but that could have started a riot and alienated them even more from the public.
When the rulers and the people are separated by ideology, mistrust and suspicion inevitably develop.
The aim of the leadership was to stop any more miracles from happening, and to reestablish themselves as the voice of God for the masses.
“We know the truth; you do not.”
This argument is often used to keep the people in darkness, isolated and under restraint. The very ones who were called to lead the people into truth and life use their standing in the community to keep the people in bondage.
“…They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” Matthew 23:4-5a
But, when the people saw the man healed, they were seized by a faith that was unfettered by established theology.
They saw God move amongst them and were overcome with amazement and awe.
Suddenly there was new hope, a cause for unrestrained celebration.
God came into their midst and sidestepped their wisdom, understanding and limitations.
This was beyond anything they experienced before; this was a manifestation of love and power.
This was a revelation of Emmanuel, God among us.
This must be our cry: “Lord, be revealed among us in power today.”