“And when [the Sanhedrin] summoned [Peter and John], they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard.’” – Acts 4:18-20
Consider the boldness of the apostles’ words: “We cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard.” This was said in the midst of the Sanhedrin, to the religious leaders of the Jewish nation. The Sanhedrin was a group of men who hated them, who had imprisoned them, and who were now threatening them (v. 21). Soon, violent persecution would start in earnest, and the blood would begin to flow.
And yet the apostles never stopped speaking the name of Jesus. All but one would die a martyr.
Sobering, when I consider how hard it can be to speak up for the truth, for my faith, and for the name of Jesus to my non-saved family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
Sobering, when I consider how hard it can be to take a stand for what is right in the community, in politics, in the school system, or in the corporate world.
Yet we, in America at least, are not typically threatened with physical violence. The fact is, fear of scorn, the force of peer pressure, and a general attitude that “I shouldn’t make waves” is often enough to keep our mouths shut.
Oh, that the fire would burn brighter in our souls! That we would be able to say with conviction, along with Peter and John, “We cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard! Listen! Let me tell you about Jesus!”
* Have you ever not spoken up about your faith or about Jesus and wished afterward that you had said something? What were the circumstances? Why didn’t you speak?
* Examine your beliefs and heart: do you truly believe that Jesus is the most important Person in life? That his Word is ultimate and eternal truth?
* How would you gauge your conviction on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being where Peter and John stood? If your conviction isn’t at the high end of the scale, what do you need to do to get it there?
* How would you gauge your courage on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being where Peter and John stood? If your courage isn’t at the high end of the scale, what can you do to gain greater courage to speak out for your convictions?