No Shadow of Doubt


In ancient Asian culture, people believed that shadows had great power. In fact, they believed that a man’s shadow carried his influence. There are recorded stories of parents trampling each other to get their children to pass through the shadows of great men. Parents were also known to snatch up their children to avoid them being in the shadow of someone they disliked. Today’s passage shows some vestiges of this belief, but it is not the shadow that is important. It’s the power behind it.

  • Is there a person whose “shadow” you enjoy being in because he or she has such a positive influence in your life?


12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 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. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. According to this passage as a whole, what “signs and wonders” were occurring among the people “by the hands of the apostles”?
  2. Why do you think more believers than ever were “added to the Lord” despite the fact that this new Christian walk of faith was evidently serious business?
  3. What do the miracles in verses 14-15 imply about the veracity of the apostles’ message about Jesus?
  4. What would those around you say about Jesus based on God’s activity in your life?


The miracles of healing that occurred through Peter during this unprecedented growth of the first church served to confirm and solidify the words of the apostles: that Jesus was, in fact, the long awaited Messiah. The miracles reinforced the message. Today, the way we live our lives is meant to confirm God’s power as his written Word infiltrates our hearts and heals our broken spirits. Physical healing is not going to occur when our shadows fall on the sick and dying of this world, but the Holy Spirit can and does use our influence, as those around us observe the shadow of God’s power in our lives as we strive to honor and glorify Jesus each and every day.

  • Pray that the shadow your life casts will have a powerful influence to draw people to Jesus and his church.