Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.
Since they could see the man who had been healed standing there…to keep this from spreading any further…could not decide how to punish them…all the people were praising God…the man who was healed was over forty years old. Here is the snapshot of what was taking place. “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.” Why would anyone want to stop God’s healing from spreading? Why would healing given to a forty-year old crippled man, crippled from birth need punishment? What spirit do we see at work here? Keep those in bondage, bound. Do not spread God’s healing across the land. Again, what spirit is at work? And we see this today in our land as well. You don’t do it our way, so don’t do it at all…in essence this is the message given by the religious leaders. Setting themselves up as ‘the authority’ and not recognizing the hand of God they were charged with representing. “Judge for yourselves…obey you rather than God?” Conflict between the old traditions and a new move of God continues to this day. We cannot box God in. How do we judge between the two when faced with a conflict such as this? We make sure we are grounded in scriptural principles, we make sure we are in constant contact with God through meditation and prayer. We continue to keep our ears open to hear His voice.