by Andrew Hillard
I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of Peter and John at this point. They were arrested for healing a man in the name of Jesus and proclaiming the good news of Jesus. They were warned not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus anymore, a warning they met with the courage and conviction that the authority of Jesus is greater than any human authority. Is that how I would respond in that situation? Maybe I would or maybe not. Thankfully I’ve never found myself in the position of being arrested and told to stop talking about Jesus.
Chances are, you haven’t been there either, but what I can definitely relate to is Acts 4:23, “When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.” We’ve all had that experience that we need to report to friends, that “you won’t believe what just happened” kind of story. You know what I’m talking about, right? What I’m challenged by in this passage is what comes next, “And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God.” The report of Peter and John to their friends led to an intense time of prayer that led to a powerful movement of the Spirit. Now, I’m not suggesting that every story we tell our friends should lead to a spontaneous prayer meeting, but in this moment of upheaval, where do our reports of what the governing authorities have said or done lead us? Toward prayerful and humble dependence upon God or toward prideful boasting in our own wisdom? Sovereign Lord, may our reports, like that of Peter and John, lead to more prayer and more gospel proclamation!