October 29, 2019
The Truth Is
October 29, 2019
As we continue our study of Acts 4 this week, we see further evidence of Peter’s and John’s boldness as they talk about their experiences with the risen Jesus in front of the religious authorities. These authorities have the power to either remove them from the Temple, or potentially even rat them out to the Romans! And yet Peter and John persist.
The day after being arrested for preaching Christ’s resurrection in Solomon’s portico, Peter and John are questioned by the scribes, elders, and rulers. Pay close attention to verses 7-8. When asked, “By what power or name did you heal that lame man yesterday?” Peter becomes “filled with the Holy Spirit,” and he begins to share the name of Jesus boldly and without fear. When under intense pressure and scrutiny, Peter opens himself up to receive the Spirit, which gives him boldness to share the truth.
“The truth is,” he says (my paraphrase), “Jesus alone can save us all. There’s no salvation in anyone but him. You crucified him, but God raised him. I can’t keep quiet about it, even though you want me to. I must tell you he alone makes miracles possible, and he alone has defeated even death!”
Peter knew the risks. But he couldn’t hide the truth. He had to speak it out, no matter the cost.
QUESTION FOR THE FIELD
- Reflect on a time when you were under intense pressure or scrutiny by an authority figure. Did you ask for help from the Spirit? Did you receive it?
- Have you ever been filled with the Spirit? What did that feel like? How did you respond?
- Practice asking the Spirit to give you boldness in standing up to pressure. Remember the truth: Jesus is life and light. With him, all things are possible.
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- How do you respond to peer pressure?
- How can we remember and speak about the truth of Christ’s love when we feel stress and pressure from the world?
God, our loving parent, we know whose children we are. And we know Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Through him we are made into disciples, boldly living counter-culturally, rejecting the powers of this world and seeking only to follow you. Help us when we’re scrutinized, God. Fill us with boldness through your Spirit. And when the world puts intense pressure on our shoulders, let us remember that we can let go of that, because Christ’s yoke is gentle and easy to bear. Amen.