Acts 4:1-4 (NLT)
While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000.
Yesterday, we considered how Peter continued to offer forgiving grace from Jesus Christ even to the people involved in the crucifixion. Thousands listened, but we also see how pointedly describing sin and the need for repentance can get a person into trouble.
The leaders who thought a crucifixion had brought an end to the Jesus movement were unhappy to hear all this talk of resurrection. Peter and John found themselves under arrest.
They seem to have approached the situation not as a problem, but as an opportunity. Read on a little, and you’ll see how they continued to declare that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, and that ongoing healing still was to be credited to the one who had risen from the dead.
Later, such arrests would lead to beatings for the apostles. Fearing the people who had seen the lame man healed, the Jewish leaders this day opted for authoritarian threats and intimidation, telling Peter and John to speak of Jesus no more.
The two were unimpressed.
“Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
The lesson is straightforward. If they were so bold under their circumstances, we certainly should be bold in ours. Let’s always be seeking new opportunities to tell people Jesus Christ is Lord.
Lord, we know any success we have at declaring the Good News is because of your strength, not our own. May we rely on your guidance and power more each day. Amen.