by John and Ruth Greene
Healing that is ‘not of man’ is often spoken against in many cultures of the world. Perhaps it is too optimistic for some in this day. Most often, you can probably attribute this to envy or fear. While healing may never happen in your religious gatherings, do you walk away without any benefit at all? Are you going through the motions with very little benefit to you or anyone else? Perhaps you need to evaluate your belief and the fruit of the people in your gathering. (Matthew 9:27-29) This is exactly what the Bible calls each disciple to do. (Matthew 6:21-33; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Acts 17:11; James 1:22-24; Psalm 26:2; Jeremiah 17:10) Healing was just one part of many things that the apostles and disciples of the Messiah did as a witness to all in the first century. Luke did an upstanding job of setting the details at Solomon’s portico which is generally lost in translation. We have translated from the Greek to emphasize the depth of this setting and the circumstances of that moment.
“By the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were brought into being among the people, and they had been completely of one mind in Solomon’s portico; but the remnant, not even one, dared to keep company with them, but the people regarded them highly. But believers, more and more, were increased to the Master, multitudes of both men and women. So too, they brought out the sick into the square, placing them on couches and beds, in order than even the shadow of Peter might come and cast a shadow on some of them. Also assembled a throng from cities all around into Jerusalem, carrying the sick and those harassed with unclean spirits. They were all healed.” – Acts 5:12-16, direct translation (see also John 10:23; Acts 3:11)
The disciples of that day performed many signs and wonders that would befuddle many professed ‘believers of Christ’ today. This colonnade was a large hall adjacent to the outer court of the temple where disciples and interested people could meet, covering the area where Al Aqsa Mosque now sits. The height of the roof on the enclosure made this portico not only a dry place to gather, but a superior setting to hear a speaker amidst a crowd. Disciples would meet regularly and others passing through would stop to listen and see the miracles. Luke makes a point of mentioning that some, most likely of higher station or authority, were in great fear of being seen anywhere around these meetings. Likely they feared persecution that occasionally came along, but most likely this remnant simply feared what other men that could see them in the portico at these meetings might think. (Acts 5:17-20) In the same way, the fear of man continues to be a strong brew that threatens to derail the faith and trust of many as they fall away into destruction, even despite the signs and wonders about them, the proofs of trust. You don’t want to be one of these people. (“What Lifestyle Are You Pursuing?“; “Disciple: Where Do You Place Your Trust?“; “Health & Bible Truth“)
The news of these great miracles traveled far and wide, provoking a large audience to gather, from both locally and from outside the city. Families and the curious brought the sick into the square where Peter was ministering to the crowd in the hope that Peter’s shadow would fall upon the sick resulting in a cure. Since this building had high columns and a tall dark ceiling, the sick would be moved as close to the front as possible for this to happen or in the shade of the teacher as the morning sun would angle into the portico. Perhaps many were afraid to ask directly or were superstitious. Whatever the case, Luke tells us that all were healed. (“Disease & Spiritual Roots“; “Is Your Forgiveness Real?“)
Meetings like this were great ‘faith-builders’ and introductions to the truth of the Master, illustrating the concern that your Heavenly Father really has for people. He wants all that will listen to be healed in life and body, looking forward to the future with a pure heart as they become set apart from the world and grow to spiritual maturity, a renewed life through the Sanctified [Set Apart, Holy] Spirit. The same attitudes and fears of man exist today. Superstitions and negativity abound because so many debunk the trust of ‘early Christians,’ even whether such signs and wonders were real. Many others continue to linger outside the corners of any exhibition of truth, hoping to receive a blessing from afar because of their own fears. (“Divine Health & Prosperity“; “Spiritual Fruit & Renewing Your Mind“; “Healing: What YHWH Wants for You!“)
In both ages, those that have really listened are eventually drawn to Bible truth beyond the surface, changed forever with the news of the gospel. For those that actively seek Him and cling to Him, YHWH grants great personal change. This is a personal witness to others so that they can enjoy the same. In the first century, despite the fears of some, many people actively received not only life-changing healing, but the beginnings of new life in Messiah depending on their willingness to draw close to the truth of YHWH. The same is true for those seeking Elohim [YHWH] today. In the most prosperous nations, the occurrence of signs and wonders seems to be a rarity. Yet, this depends on the belief of people and how bound to cultural strongholds of the world these people are. The same is true for you and everyone else, wherever you live. Many claim to be Christians today, but a comparative few actually bear the fruit of that claim. This doesn’t need to be. When you focus your life on the Master, the fear of surrounding negative attitudes of people fades into obscurity. With Elohim, nothing is impossible. Are you willing? (Luke 1:37; Hebrews 11:6; “Christianity: A Crisis in Prayer & Spirit“; “What Is Washing By The Word?“; “YHWH’s Revolution“)