REPENTANCE AND TRUST
Lord Jesus, I come to You today – You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Read Acts 4:13–22
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave the words of God’s truth ever startled or shocked you?
‘Astonished’ (13) is the leaders’ reaction, to which we could probably add confounded, perplexed, and confused.
The council knew the connection to Jesus, but they could not explain the transformation in these men nor the miraculous healing of a grown man who had been lame for years (22). Rather than admitting to the possibility that Jesus was the Messiah, that Peter and John were telling the truth, and that this healing was genuine, they took the tortuous decision to deny the evidence in front of their eyes. It was easier for them to warn Peter and John to shut up (18). Why? Admitting that Jesus was God’s Messiah would involve first and foremost utter repentance – confessing not only that they had been wrong but also that their actions had led to Jesus’ death.
Before we settle back on a self-righteous sofa, it’s important for us to recognize that each one of us denies or ignores God at points in our lives. From that split-second decision, our minds then work overtime to craft an explanation and self-justification of our thoughts and actions. What’s the solution? Humility, softness of heart, and prayer. For all of which, we are dependent upon God.
Where might you be tuning out God’s voice right now? Sit down and take an honest look at that issue. Is disobeying God worth the pain that comes from a stunted relationship with Him?
Father, forgive me for when I have denied You. Please give me the grace to admit when I’m wrong and to keep open before You.
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