This devotional is written by Francesca Nicholls. Francesca is practicing to be a human rights barrister, and will soon be married to Magic Max, who is part of many fun revelries at the Life Course Weekend Away

Acts 5:12-16

The Apostles Heal Many

12 The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon's Colonnade. 13 But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. 14 Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord--crowds of both men and women. 15 As a result of the apostles' work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter's shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. 16 Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.


Solomon's Portico was a colonnade located on the eastern side of the Jerusalem Temple and was also known as the Women's Court. The Women's Court was one of the few spaces that women could enter. I am personally drawn by the image of a clear day in Jerusalem with Jesus' apostles laying their hands on the sick as women and men congregate together in awe of God's signs and wonders. No one was left out of God's miracles; men and women could see and believe. And that is what is most striking about the space in which the apostles carried out these miracles, it is a space where all are welcome to bear witness to God's works. But then we are told that 'no one else dared join them.' What does this mean? We cannot say with 100% certainty, but one possibility is that Luke is referring to the Jewish religious leaders who did not have the courage to participate for fear of bringing their standing into disrepute, despite what they could see. How often do we, in our daily walk with Jesus, fail to follow through with what God asks of us? How often do we pass the sick and fail to pray for them because we are worried about how others will perceive us? This passage really challenges me to be bold. How can we truly follow Jesus if we do not stand boldly in our faith, as the apostles did, and pray for the sick and trust the Holy Spirit? And so I pray, Lord, that you will ignite us with your Holy Spirit, that you will give us the courage to pray for the sick, even if we fear judgment. Amen.

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