Scripture Reading: Acts 4:14-22
“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.’” (Acts 4:19,20)
After the religious leaders heard Peter’s defense before the Sanhedrin (vs. 9-12), they conferred together and concluded that they had nothing to charge the men with: “But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition” (v. 14). They knew that they had better stop Peter and John from speaking about Jesus because if they did not many people may follow their teachings: “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and we cannot deny it” (v. 16).
The religious leaders decided that they would order Peter and John not to speak of the name of Jesus Christ to anyone else (v. 17). “So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (v. 18). These leaders were in a difficult position — they could not deny that a miracle had taken place but they did not want Peter and John telling how it happened!
When the leaders communicated their decision to them, Peter and John responded: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” vs. 19,20). Peter and John knew that they could not fail to speak about Jesus. When we experience God’s work in our lives, we cannot keep it to ourselves. We must speak!
God calls us to be bold witnesses of His gracious work. He empowers us with the Holy Spirit and gives us the courage to speak of His work in our lives. We must not be silent. When we have been with Jesus, others will know it and they will observe through our actions that we are followers of Christ, just like the religious noticed this in the lives of Peter and John (v. 13).
Lord Jesus, I pray for courage and boldness. Let me never be ashamed of the gospel and let me not remain silent about my faith. Give me an opportunity today to share the name of Jesus with others.
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