Acts 4:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 4:30, NIV: Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.'

Acts 4:30, ESV: while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Acts 4:30, KJV: By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

Acts 4:30, NASB: while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.'

Acts 4:30, NLT: Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.'

Acts 4:30, CSB: while you stretch out your hand for healing, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus."

What does Acts 4:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The church leaders in Jerusalem have prayed that they will remain bold in the face of persecution (Acts 4:29). Now they pray for the ability to perform miracles. The purpose of miracles in the Bible is to validate the legitimacy of God's messengers. Miracles are never the end goal, and even Jesus stated that preaching, not healing, was the reason He came (Mark 1:36–38).

The disciples first had the chance to perform miracles while Jesus was still with them (Mark 6:7–13), but except for healing the man born lame, the only recorded sign they've been a part of is speaking different languages during Pentecost (Acts 2:4). This will change soon after their prayer. God will so validate their work with miracles that people assume Peter's shadow will heal (Acts 5:12–16).

Miracles also add some protection. The Sanhedrin wanted to punish Peter and John for preaching that Jesus rose from the dead, but the presence of a man, over forty, who had been lame since birth and was now leaping about gave them pause (Acts 4:21–22). Sometimes God chooses to protect through miracles, but sometimes He doesn't. Another miracle will rescue the apostles from prison (Acts 5:19), but there won't be one to prevent the Sanhedrin from beating them (Acts 5:40), and the ability to do great wonders won't protect Stephen from a murderous mob (Acts 6:8; 7:54–60).

We need to remember this when we ask for miraculous healing or rescue. When God blesses us, it is so He will receive glory (Matthew 5:15–16). He does care about our ultimate wellbeing (Matthew 7:9–11), but His plan for us may not include easy fixes. Even the Jesus-followers, as they pray to be a conduit for God's miracles, do not pray for their own safety. The miracles aren't for their benefit, but to serve the gospel they wish to speak with boldness (Acts 4:29).

The words they choose are key. "Wonder" is from the Greek root word teras and means a supernatural occurrence that reveals a hidden truth. "Signs" is from the Greek root word sēmeion and means a miracle that identifies its performer as chosen by God. God equips His followers to do good works for His purposes (Ephesians 2:10), even if those purposes wind up causing hardship to His followers. We will accept this when we accept His purposes as our own.