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Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Over The Top!"

Have any of you ever seen or maybe even heard of the old Disney movie “One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing?”  This flick was a family favorite when our kids were young.  It is a comedy film from the stable of popular Disney movies that were filmed in the ’50, ‘60’s and 70’s.  This particular classic came out in 1975.  It tells the humorous story of the theft of a dinosaur skeleton taken from the British Natural History Museum.  The storyline centers around a piece of microfilm that details the formula for the mysterious “Lotus X.”
The microfilm was secreted out of China by an agent of the Queen only to be hidden in the British museum when the “spy” is closely followed by Chinese secret agents.  One of the draws to the film was the comic performances of some well-known dramatic actors of the day highlighted by the “over the top” acting and humor of Peter Ustinov and Hellen Hayes. 
To me the funniest part of the movie is the Caucasian actors playing the part of Chinese nationals and Kung Fu experts!  Their characters are so obviously over-played and transparent in their parody of real life that one can hardly stop laughing throughout the movie.  The final scene with Peter Ustinov’s character dressed in the traditional Chinese gown and wooden sandals seals the deal and always leaves me shaking my head and chuckling on the couch!
As I continued reading from Acts chapter four this morning, I quickly realized that the Jewish religious leaders did not see “over the top” acting on the part of Peter and John when they had the Apostles brought to them in the court of the Sanhedrin. This interaction which is detailed in verses seven through twenty-two makes it clear that the leaders KNEW that something miraculous had happened and that Peter and John were the real deal!  We are told that “They made Peter and John stand in front of them and asked them; By what power or in whose name did you do this?” (Acts 4:7 God’s Word ©)
The word translated “power” is actually the Greek word “dunamis” meaning “miraculous power – by implication a miracle itself.” (Strong’s)  I’ve heard it told that this is where we get the English word “dynamite” from.  And it gets even more interesting when we understand the leaders use of the word “name.”  This word comes from the term “ginosko” which defines an intimate, experiential knowledge of the authority behind the name that was used.  (See Strong’s and Thayer’s)
The Jewish religious leaders could not deny that a miracle had happened and that these men had an intimate, experiential knowledge of the One whose power and authority was drawn on in order to cause the healing of the lame man.  Verse 13 says that these same leaders “saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men (and) marveled; and took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus!” (KJV)
I can picture the Jewish leaders swallowing hard and looking at each other with wide eyes as it was unmistakably evident that Peter and John didn’t just have a head knowledge of Jesus.  Their words and corresponding actions clearly demonstrated a heart knowledge that could not be swayed!  And they were right!  Peter and John and the other disciples NEVER backed down from that point on!  I also find it interesting that as you continue to read through the book of Acts you’ll find that the religious leaders pop up every-so-often with persecutions and accusations, but they never again prevail over the ever-growing Christian church!
As far as we were concerned, the verbal "over the top" accusations made toward us slowed tremendously and went underground as the visible evidence of my wife’s and my stand of faith and the steps we chose to follow began to manifest themselves.  Our words and corresponding actions have produced fruit that is hard to argue with!  How is your walk of faith going today?  Are you standing tall and strong like Peter and John did in the face of fault finding and accusation?  My encouragement to you is to stand firm like the early leaders of the church did and watch the troublemakers melt before the visible signs that manifest themselves in you and in the circumstances around you!
Have a great day today.  Continue to stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “In What power and in Whose name am I expecting to see results in today?”

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