This passage is loaded with life-changing material that meets a wide range of spiritual needs.
It is a story of what most of us would call a “worst-case-scenario” in terms of evangelism. It seems like a public-speaking catastrophe. Imagine that two men steal the microphone at your regular town meeting and end up arrested; walking away in shame. That is precisely what happened to Peter and John in Acts 4:1-4. For any public speaker, getting arrested for the night as a result of your speaking content is not even on the radar because it is so far beyond the worst imagined scenario. However, the Lord used even this incomplete speaking engagement to bring the total number of believers up to at least 5,000 people!
Think about your last evangelistic encounter that did not go as-planned. Is it possible, in light of this text, that the Lord did more than you first anticipated?
Peter and John were arrested mid-message and brought before the board of their day’s most educated and respected spiritual intellectuals (without a complete education between them). The result – another spark of an already raging revival and an emboldening of the believers by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us not gauge the effectiveness of our ministries by their homiletic acumen, but by the Spirit’s presence. For, by that one factor, we are either momentarily adequate, or eternally effective.