Speak Truth to Power
Lord God, teach me from Your Word so that I can speak the truth for You fearlessly today.
Read ACTS 4:1-12
 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.  They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.  They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.  But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.  The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.  Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family.  They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed,  then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.  He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was the simple, clear message of these disciples?
I often find myself speaking to people who are powerful in human terms: politicians, media executives and even religious leaders. I have to stop myself from feeling rather awestruck.
I wonder how Peter and John felt as they were questioned by the High Priest’s court. Once again they found themselves standing where Jesus had stood. It must have occurred to them that they could suffer the same fate that he had! When Jesus was hauled before the priests he spoke very little. But Peter and John couldn’t stop speaking about Jesus.
The Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. They wanted to preserve their own power base in the temple, and they wanted no fuss so that their Roman occupiers would let them live in peace. The idea that Jesus was alive and powerful challenged everything they cared about. There’s a glorious simplicity about Peter’s message. He told them that the healing of the lame man was a picture of the salvation offered to everyone through Jesus alone. Either he didn’t know what trouble he was getting himself into or, more likely, he didn’t care!
How well equipped are you to speak clearly and boldly for the Lord? What further preparation might you need?
Lord Jesus, keep me simple. Make the message of my life as uncompromising and powerful as Peter’s.
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