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Acts 4:1-22 (ESV)
Peter and John Before the Council
4 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. 5 On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you 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 is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
When, if ever, do you feel that Peter’s response to his political and religious leaders would be appropriate for a Christian today?
Peter’s response to the political and religious leaders serves a perfect example for a Christian today. He spoke only truth, a truth that has not changed today and will never change. The crippled man who was healed was a miracle they could not deny. Our salvation through Christ is our own personal miracle and testimony.
Lord how I pray for the empowering of your Holy Spirit to proclaim your truth to all who would ask. Our world is in such turmoil today and needs to hear of your great power, your great love, and the healing you offer to each and every one. Help me to listen to your voice and ignore the voices that try to draw me away from you. Help me remember there is no condemnation for doing the right things even though I may be mocked for it. Loving my neighbors, feeding the poor, giving comfort to those who are hurting, and giving to those in need are ways that I can share your love and message. I need your strength to do loving actions and guide me each day. Thank you, Lord! Amen
(today’s prayer submitted by Jo Schneider)