Read Acts 4:1-14
Peter and John were at the temple teaching and preaching to various people about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The first thing to notice is the different kinds of people they spoke to: regular people, religious people such as priests, working people like the captain of the temple and other religious people called the Sadducees.
To me this speaks of getting God’s Word out to all people, no matter what their background or current state of living they may be in. God wants all His creation to hear and believe His Word. The Bible teaches God doesn’t want a single one to perish (Matthew 18:14).
Next we see a threefold reaction to this teaching. First, the people became greatly disturbed. When you are not ready for the truth it can be very disturbing. Think about it. You’re going about your business, thinking everything is fine and then you’re confronted with the truth and can plainly see you’re on the wrong side. That doesn’t make a lot of people feel real comfortable. The Bible teaches men loved darkness rather than light (John 3:19). In darkness, their evil deeds can go on unnoticed by others. We are called to expose the darkness with God’s glorious light (Ephesians 5:11). For as we walk in the light, the blood of Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7).
Second, the people grabbed Peter and John and through them in jail. Following Christ has its cost. Peter and John were experiencing it. All they did was speak what they knew to be true and they were treated harshly by being wrongly imprisoned. In our country, we might not find our selves being thrown in prison for witnessing to someone (at least not yet); we will encounter persecution of some kind. For example, folks you considered friends may stop hanging with you when you start telling them about Jesus. Why, even your own family members may shun you. Just remember, Jesus said that would happen in Matthew 5.
Third, about five thousand men heard the word and believed. Can you imagine having an impact like that? Simply speaking God’s truth and five thousand people came to believe! Now, that’s a miracle only God can work. Doesn’t the minor inconvenience Peter and John experienced pale in comparison? We may not always see this kind of result, but we can trust God to work the miracles when we are obedient to His calling. Galatians 6:9 tells us not to grow weary of doing good for at the right time we’ll reap a harvest if we don’t lose heart. We are to continue on whether or not it looks like we’re making a difference, because in reality we are making an impact for God’s Kingdom through our obedience.
Lord, thank you for your word and your spirit leading us in truth. May we be bold like Peter and John to share your word with everyone regardless of the inconvenience it may bring. May we continue to do what is right, knowing you will work it out for good. In Jesus’ name Amen.
© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word. For more articles, devotions and book reviews, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.