28 [The High Priest and religious leaders said] “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.
31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.
The followers of Jesus are being accused of two things here.
- Filling Jerusalem with their teaching, and
- Placing the blame for killing Jesus on the religious rulers
What I love about Peter’s reply is that he claims authority from God in what he is saying and doing and then he
- Places the blame for killing Jesus on the religious rulers, and
- Fills Jerusalem with the teaching about Jesus
He’s kind of a stinker.
But at the end of it, look who is angry. It’s not Peter. Peter isn’t the angry one. He’s preaching the truth with authority and boldness.
It’s the religious rulers that are feeling guilty, showing outrage, and want to kill somebody.
We have plenty of opportunities to get mad today, don’t we? Mad at silly stuff we see online, mad at the guy that doesn’t know how to drive, mad at a family member or even mad at a celebrity that doesn’t even know we exist.
Sometimes we might be mad because “we are standing up for” the truth, what is right, etc.
But look at who was standing up for the truth and who was mad in Acts.
Peter and John weren’t in control at all. They had been imprisoned, miraculously set free, and now who knows what is about to happen to them. But they had the truth and they continued to proclaim it boldly. So boldly that people were attracted to their group. So boldly that the religious leaders were afraid to hurt them because so many people liked them.
Peter and John weren’t getting eye-rolls from their preaching. They were attracting people. We would do so well to imitate that.
God has given us the same Holy Spirit that He gave to Peter and John. The same Spirit that Paul said can call God “Dad!” is guiding you today, offering you peace, truth, and boldness.
Let’s wield them well. Let’s speak that bold, loving, truth and attract those that God is reaching out to today.
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