October 30, 2019
We Cannot Keep From Speaking
October 30, 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.
This week, we’ve been reading Acts 4 and noticing the theme of boldness. After having healed a lame man, Peter and John have preached about the power of Jesus’ resurrection, have been arrested by the Temple authorities, have been questioned and scrutinized, and have remained bold and unwavering through it all.
Now Peter and John quietly await their fate while the scribes, elders, and priests put their heads together: “What do we do about these guys? It’s obvious a miracle really has occurred, for they’re not educated enough to be tricksters. But we can’t let them keep drawing attention to this Jesus! Better to tell them to keep quiet and stop stirring the pot.”
So they turn to the apostles and order them not to speak in the name of Jesus. And they answer, “Sorry, but we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Have you ever noticed how smitten grandparents can’t keep from sharing pictures and stories of their grandchildren? They can’t stop speaking about their latest milestones, their funny words, their cute recitals, and on and on. Grandparents make great evangelists because they can’t keep from sharing the love they have for their grandkids.
What would it be like if we shared about our experience with Jesus with the same love and tenderness that grandparents share about their grandchildren? The same way Peter and John shared about the truth of their experience—with absolute certainty, truth, love, and unwavering boldness.
QUESTION FOR THE FIELD
- Why do you think the Temple authorities wanted Peter and John to stop talking about Jesus so publicly? What was at stake for them?
- What do you love so much you can’t stop talking about it? Golf? A favorite TV show? Your kids? How can you talk about Jesus with that much enthusiasm?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- What has Jesus done for you today?
- What are your blessings?
- Where are your growing edges?
Holy Spirit, fill us with your presence. Let us boldly share stories of Jesus with the same love and tenderness we share about our children and grandchildren. Let the love we have for him overflow within us, allowing us to see all people as created in the heavenly image. Let the Christ alive in us recognize the Christ alive in all people, and let us boldly proclaim Christ’s presence among us. Amen.