August 27, 2021 – Friday
Acts 4:13 NIV
13 When 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 4:13 NKJV
13 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.
The primary difference between the NIV and the NKJV is the use of the words courage and boldness. If you were to look at all the English versions you would find bold or boldness as the most common word used. Others were confident, brave, not afraid, fearlessness, steadfastness, and openness all words we might associate with courage or boldness.
A natural question would be who were those who were looking upon Peter and John with such astonishment or marvel when they realized both were uneducated, ordinary men? A bit of background first will help as in the same chapter we find in Sadducees (v2-4), They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
This teaching of the resurrected Christ so disturbed them that (v5-7), The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
The question concerned the healing of a lame man (chapter 3).
Peter answered them boldly (v8-10), Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If 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, then 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. We are almost to our verse of the day and note how directly Peter is addressing those who have the power of life and death or imprisonment on both himself and John. Courage and boldness indeed! Peter did not stop with the accusation that they crucified Jesus, but went on to say (v11-12), Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” In saying this he quoted Psalm 118:22.
Now look at the end of verse thirteen, these men had been with Jesus. MacLaren’s Expositions notes, Annas and Caiaphas said to each other: ‘Ah, these two have been with that Jesus! That is where they have got their boldness. They are like Him.’ And further states, As is the Master, so is the servant. That is the broad, general principle that lies in my text. To be with Christ makes men Christlike. And The surest way for Christian people to become what God would have them to be, is to direct the greater part of their effort, not so much to the acquirement of individual characteristics and excellences, as to the keeping up of continuity of communion with the Master. Then the excellences will come.
Just a bit more from MacLaren on the courage or boldness of Peter and John, The word that is translated ‘boldness’ no doubt conveys that idea, but it also conveys another. Literally it means ‘the act of saying everything.’ It means openness of unembarrassed speech, and so comes to have the secondary signification, which the text gives, of ‘boldness.’ The question is how much time to we spend in communion with Jesus? Enough so that we also can speak with an openness of unembarrassed speech of the good news He has for everyone?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help me to spend time and more time with You in prayer, in thought, in Your word so that I may speak openly of the wonderful Grace You have provided for all. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.