Fear or Boldness?

Acts 4:1-22
Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

Everywhere in Jerusalem there are pro-Trump posters. Considering the hostile American liberal media, it is rather funny to see how Israelis are thrilled with his presidency and recognize the work his administration has done. Coming from America, entering Jerusalem is like entering the twilight zone of politics.

Jealousy and power together are a terrible thing. We know because we see it all the time in our government. However, it is very easy to spot this problem in others; and very difficult to identify it in our own life. Power can go to anyone’s head, no matter who you are. Even the most godly can become puffed with pride when not focused on our Almighty God. The enemy knows the strength of this temptation and even used it to tempt our Lord in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11).

Annas (the former high priest and father-in-law to Caiaphas), Caiaphas (the high priest), John, and Alexander (other guys in some kind of power), and all of their relatives were Sadducees. Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. Here come Peter and John preaching boldly that they were wrong, and the people were responding in the thousands! This was a political crisis for the Sadducees! So, the high priest and company did what they could: they arrested Peter and John and threw them in jail overnight to stop their influence. What is funny is that they didn’t quite know what to do with them or what to think of them. They recognized that they were uneducated men, but they also recognized that they had been with Jesus. What they really couldn’t fight was the fact that they just performed a miracle that all could not deny…a 40-year-old crippled man was just healed… and the fact that they knew how to argue the Law.

As Peter and John made their case, they used an example that was right in front of them. It was an example described in the Old Testament (Psalm 188:22-23, Isaiah 28:16), which surely they studied since they were high priests, describing Jesus as the head corner stone, a stone that was rejected originally by builders but became the foundational support for the whole structure. This argument baffled them. What in the world were they to do except threaten them?

When we are faced with adversity, what do we do? Being filled with the Spirit, Peter and John faced this difficulty with power and boldness. They did not fear man, because they feared God. Whom do you fear?


Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.

To contact Kaye Dee, leave a comment, message us on Facebook, or email comments@thebeautifulspirit.org.

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