In his book, “Outrageous”, Aaron Tredway writes, “The Bible records countless stories of Jesus giving His followers the ability to heal sick people, resurrect dead people, and travel the world doing things that most of us would never imagine were possible…. They might have appeared to be ordinary, but when they connected their lives to Jesus, outrageous things began to happen.” The apostles were a great example of this. Let’s look at Peter and John in Acts 3-4 to see how Jesus changed the lives of ordinary fisherman to apostles who extended the Kingdom of Heaven wherever they walked.
Share with your group the most outrageous thing that has happened in your life.
The story we’re looking at in Acts involves Peter and John. Let’s briefly look at what we know of them from the Gospels. Read the following verses and record what you learn:
- John 1:40-42
- Luke 5:1-10
- Matthew 8:14
- Matthew 14:28-29
- Matthew 16:16-17
- Matthew 16:22-23
- John 18:10-11
- Matthew 26:33,70-74
- Mark 1:19-20
- Mark 3:17
- Mark 9:38-41
- Luke 9:51-54
- Matthew 20:20-24
- John 13:23
- John 19:25-27
Read Acts 3:1-9 and Acts 4:1-13. The lame beggar asked for money, and instead received complete healing. What does this say about the nature of God? (Hint – see Ephesians 3:20.)
Read Acts 4:8-10. Who does Peter, a simple fisherman, credit for this outrageous encounter?
It was likely just a few weeks since Annas and Caiaphas had been involved in trial of Jesus, but Peter was bold by confronting them in Acts 4:10-12. Why was Peter, who denied Christ (Matthew 26:74) and hid in fear of the Jewish leaders after His crucifixion (John 20:19), able to speak so boldly and eloquently?
What was the reaction of those who heard Peter’s response (Acts 4:13)?
In Acts 4:20, Peter and John are ordered by the religious leaders to stop speaking about Christ. Their response is classic: “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” As Pastor Joe said last week, “It’s not that we HAVE to, it’s that we GET to!” Are you excited to talk about Jesus? Why or why not?
It seems crazy that Jesus would choose such ordinary men to accomplish His extraordinary purposes in the world…and yet He does it again and again. How does this story of Peter and John inspire you to awaken to the unexpected opportunities, events and adventure that He makes available to you?
3:1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him… 4:1The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. 5The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” 13When 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. Acts 3:1-9; Acts 4:1-13
Read the book, “Outrageous”, by Aaron Tredway, and ask the Holy Spirit to begin to make you aware of how He wants to use you to expand His Kingdom. (Purchase HERE.)