I tell you what, that must have been some sermon Peter gave! Well, he gave lots of them, I suppose, but he gave a couple of doozies right after Pentecost. His first was to people in general who lived in Jerusalem. The second that was recorded was at the temple when he healed the lame beggar. The one I’m interested in was his next one, the one he gave while under arrest because of that miracle.
I guess one could argue that this wasn’t a sermon but rather a dialogue. Either way, the gospel was proclaimed, and, boy I bet their ears burned! Simon level his accusation right between the eyes:
Acts 4:9-10 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well.
Look at two things. First, he leveled the charge of murder directly at them. Second, he informed then that Jesus is ALIVE! The man they killed is ALIVE! HAH! And then he said this:
Acts 4:11-12 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
The rejected stone, the cornerstone, is from Psalm 118:22 and would have been a very familiar Messianic prophecy to all those Jewish religious leaders. And then Peter made it clear – “there is no other name…by which we must be saved.” BOOM!
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to say stuff like that? I mean, really, don’t you ever want to do that? I do, but most of the time I don’t. I guess the idea that people might not like me still bothers me. It’s not that I don’t have opportunity, I just don’t want to make waves. Not like Peter did. It got him beaten and eventually killed.
Honestly, I really don’t want to be like I am. I want to be bold like Peter, but I’m not. Then again, maybe Peter wasn’t bold like that either. Oh, sure, he had courage – he’s the one who struck the guard and cut off his ear! But, seriously, who was he to talk like that to the counsel? After all, he was an uneducated peasant fisherman!
Let’s not forget something very important about this scene.
Luke 12:11-12 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
That’s where Peter got his courage and the words to say – from the Holy Spirit!
Where can I get me some of that? Knock, knock, puddin’ head! I already got me that, living right inside of me! All I need to do is cooperate and let him do his work!
Here the takeaway from this. Don’t be afraid to talk about Jesus, even if it means confronting the religious establishment. You have the Holy Spirit on board! Now, let’s not be arrogant about any of this stuff. We’re still to season our speech with salt and be peaceful with everyone (within our power to do so). Nonetheless, we are also to be brave and willing to say the hard things when the hard things need to be said.
Do you want some of that? Then I have some homework for you. Right after this event in Acts, the believers got together and prayed. Check out Acts 4:23-31. No, seriously, do it. Here’s the link. I double dog dare you!
Father, I pray that all who read this click on that link and pray that prayer for themselves. Amen!
Copyright © 2021 Scott Powers