“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.” (Acts chapter 5, Verse 15 NLT) On a hot, muggy day in an Alabama month of May, shadows of trees offer great relief from the heat. But shadows seen in the middle of the night? Not such a great relief. And the other day, I was thinking about shadows–and how they influence us and others. And the saga of the apostles came to my mind and heart. And that single line written by Luke: so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by.
Who were them? Sick people! Wow! What an influence Peter and the others had in their culture! And notice, it wasn’t because of Peter. Look at that opening line again: As a result of the apostles work! The Greek word is about consequences! The consequences of their fire and passion for Jesus and the Kingdom was that even Peter’s shadow would heal Sick People! Can you imagine them walking down a road and just up ahead, family and friends sitting, even laying down, all sorts of sick people? Can you see the hope in the eyes of all those people? Not just the sick, but those who cared enough about them to take time from their busy schedules just to help!
And what about us apostles today? What??? Did you just think, “I’m not an apostle!” Why would you even think such a falsehood? I’ll tell you why you bought in to this horrible lie. You’ve been influenced to think you can’t make a difference in the lives of sick people. What if I told you:
My shadow, YOUR shadow has an influence on others. It can be a good influence or a bad influence. Think about it. What causes “shadows”? Light! And guess what? Jesus said “I am the light of the world!” To bring change into our culture all depends on what our shadow does for other people. If, like these first apostles (notice the use of lowercase), we have a fire and a passion for Jesus, then our shadows can and will change sick people. And who knows, our shadow may fall on someone who doesn’t realize they are sick–but then they encounter Jesus and are made whole. So, what kind of shadow do you cast?
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!