SCRIPTURE: Acts 5:12-17
12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.
This passage takes place following the death of Ananias and Sapphira…verse 11 says, “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.” I love the irony in these verses…first we are told that “no one else dared join them” and then we are told, “nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number”. Many people were so gripped with fear that they wanted nothing to do with these crazy Jesus followers. If you messed up, you could die! But at the same time, others were streaming into “the faith” because the signs and wonders were so obvious that God was in the middle of this.
The death of Ananias and Saphira was a catalyst to the spreading of the gospel and bringing the fear of God. Suddenly things got out of control (in a good way)! The disciples ministry took on a new dimension. They had seen people line up to receive healing from Jesus, but all of a sudden people are lining up the sick on the streets in hopes of Peter’s shadow possibly falling on them, desperate for healing. Not one person left sick. All of them were healed. The disciples experienced the kind of anointing that Jesus operated in through the Spirit seeing a 100% healing success rate. Boldness comes like a rushing river when you are seeing those kinds of results! I think these events really propelled the apostles into a new level of anointing and ministry.
When God begins to use you in ways that He seemingly is not using others, jealousy always comes to the surface. The high priest and his associates respond to the apostles with jealousy and put them in jail! When God begins to use you in ways that affect others around you, there are always people who will rise up against you in jealousy. It will manifest itself in many different ways. I’ll never forget a missions trip to Ukraine where we were doing tent meetings filled with teenagers. Every night the altars were filled with teens coming to the Lord. However, at the entrance to the tent were leaders from the Orthodox Church handing little pamphlets and warning people coming in that this was a cult and to have nothing to do with it. What was their motivation? Some would say it was “genuine” concern for these kids, but the truth is that they were dealing with jealousy. When we are quick to condemn others, we have to ask ourselves…where is this coming from? If we allow God to bring the answer, we will often find that it is rooted in jealousy.
Holy Spirit thank-you for your strength and might to do miracles. Thank-you for your supernatural strength which courses through my veins as I live in oneness with You. May I see more and more miracles as you pour out your compassion on people I come into contact with each day. Help me to be bold in the face of opposition and to remember that they are operating out of selfishness and jealousy. They still need Your love! Help me to guard my heart from jealousy lest I hurt my brother or sister and find myself in opposition to what You are doing. May Your will be done in me today. Amen.