“So that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.”
Acts 5:15-16, ESV
Astonishing! It was Peter, who denied the Lord—three distinct and definite times. Since we are moving past Good Friday and our celebration of Easter, so we should rest for a moment and consider Peter, and think about this “rascal.” He really isn’t magical, or a “miracle worker,” Peter, quite precisely is a definite loser. The best you can say is that he is a displaced and “has-been” fisherman, who hasn’t really got a good track-record. He tries hard, but he always muddles it up. He falls very short.
Peter’s shadow reveals the power of unconscious influence. His shadow wasn’t magical or possessed a healing virtue. In a deep sense we all influence people around us–for good, or for evil. Our imprint on others is quite significant. Our impact is quite noticable. Watchman Nee in his book, “Release of the Spirit.” Nee compared our influence to the “ring” we leave in the bathtub. Everyone leaves his mark. Looking at that we can understand (to a degree) what that particular person is really like. But the reality is, we all leave behind some scum.
J.R. Miller relates this thought. “There is a legend of a good man for whom was asked some new power. He chose that he might do a great deal of good and might not be aware of it. So it was ordered that when his shadow fell behind him, where he could not see it, it should have healing power, but when it fell before him, so that he could see it, it should have no such effect.”
We need to view this thing closer. How exactly do we influence others? What manner of people are we to acheive such attention? Do we really deserve “the praise of men?” Do we go as far as to exult in our shadows? If we really want to powerfully affect others, we have to be humble, perhaps even dismissive of the good that may follow behind us. (It doesn’t belong to us.”) When we become really conscious of our significance or sway, we are in mortal danger and risk spoiling everything.
The kingdom is not big enough for Jesus, and than us–who takes over the center stage? There is a disturbing assumption that we are most significant. We stack-up our blocks and create a facade of being quite exceptional people. The reality is this–we are all very much like Peter, our lives belie what is truly real. But our authenticity really is found in the “blood of Jesus,” which covers our wickedness. That dear one, is our “claim to fame.” Essentially, due to the proportion of our pride, determines the glory that the Lord receives. We often eliminate him from our consideration. Your pride determines His glory, plain and simple. So step up, who goes next?