Weren’t they fooled? Who? The big-shot religious ‘pooh-bahs’ who knew that they had gotten rid of Jesus and His motely crew. Now, Peter and John are up-to-their-necks in king-sized trouble. Ever felt that way? I have…a few times! If I think about it long enough, I can conjure up all those old feelings of stomach-churning fear. Peter and John? Sure, the headwinds were blowing against them. Their lives were on the line. The religious ‘high muckety-mucks’ wanted no more talk of Jesus and His resurrection. ‘All a bunch of baloney, anyway. Jesus the Messiah? Leaving Rome still the occupying power? Crucified, dead and buried. That’s the end. Over and out!’ Right? Wrong!
What should Peter and John do? After all, they knew that Jesus is alive! He has risen from the dead. So, if anyone rejects Jesus, they are doomed by their own choice. So, speak up! Say something! Too much is at stake. Like eternal life or you-know-what. Who cares what someone else thinks about you. Who cares?
There may be a sign outside our local hospital that says ‘Quiet Zone’, but if my child is running across the street and a log truck is barreling down on him, forget the ‘Quiet Zone’. I’ll shout to the highest heavens, loud enough to wake the dead, to save my precious child’s life. Who wouldn’t?
That’s what the apostles did. Spoke up. They said, ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved'(Acts 4: 12). This was not a popular message in their day. Nor ours. But speak up they must–‘When they saw the courage of Peter and John…'(4:13). How can we keep quiet when the house is on fire and people are inside, unaware? But who would listen to Jesus’ followers anyway? ‘… they were unschooled, ordinary men…'(4:13). Jesus had a tax-collector(much loved in His day…NOT!), a former terrorist, fishermen, and some we know nothing about. Ordinary blokes all.
But people listened to them. Why? What made these men special? Not their credentials or how much money they had or for any other earthly reason. What people noticed was this–‘…that these men had been with Jesus'(4:13). That’s all.
Do you know Jesus? Spend time with Him. Then stand up and share Him with someone else. People are hell-bent. A log truck barrels out of control. Their house is on fire. But God has a safe escape, planned for them. Tell them…about Jesus. Decide to do that. Join me?
Prayer: Lord, make me bold. Not offensive or arrogant but urgent, telling others about the only way to heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.