For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” – Act 4:20 

During this time, which was not long after the ascension of Jesus into Heaven, Peter and John were teaching the people about Jesus, stating He was miraculously raised from the dead. This, of course, angered the Jewish leadership because this could turn the people away from their teachings when they accept the doctrines taught by Jesus’ disciples. This especially angered the Sadducees, for they objected completely the doctrine of resurrection. So, they arrested Peter and John, putting them into prison, and during this time the leadership discussed the matter.

The next day, the two disciples were brought before the Jewish leadership. In verses 5-6 we read; “On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent.” Acts 4:5-6. When everyone was settled in, they placed Peter and John in the middle of the room and asked them by what authority did they tell others about Jesus’ resurrection which they did not at all believe. And Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, starts by saying the following:

Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name this man stands here before you in good health.” Acts 4:10.

Peter starts by addressing the healing of the man who was sick. If they were being questioned regarding the healing of a man who was crippled, if the court wanted to know how the man was healed, then he will let them know, as well as all Israel, that he was healed in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah. He also told them that salvation only comes from Jesus, the Christ.

Now the Jewish leaders saw confidence in both, even though they knew they were uneducated and never trained in the rabbinical schools. Yet they were amazed having recognized they had been with Jesus. But also, seeing this man had been healed, they had nothing to say regarding this, for they recognized him, having been lame from his mother’s womb. He used to set down every day at the gate of the temple called Beautiful in order to beg for donations from those who were entering the temple.

After a time, they were released, but with a warning.

And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:18.

Here is Peter and John respond, which we ourselves should take to heart.

Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20.

When we find ourselves in a position where we are told to stop speaking the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is important that we show the absolute truth of this message, that being the message from Jesus saying,

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.

I want to encourage us all to be bold in reference to God’s message to this world. Jesus, the Son of God, gave His life for us so we could receive the salvation that comes through believing the message and receiving His grace. And He has called us to go out and preach the gospel to all. If we, as Christians, do not tell the unsaved the gospel, then do we truly love them? Do we really desire them to be saved? The only way they will understand this message as total truth is for someone to go out and tell them. We should not stop just because someone is offended. If someone chooses not to listen, then that is their issue. But if another says to stop sharing the gospel, we should do what we can to continue. For their salvation is far more important than how people see us. We should not be ashamed to read the Bible, pray, or share Jesus to a lost world. For this is our calling from Christ.

Are we willing to give our lives for this purpose? Jesus Himself said to them and also to us.

It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

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