You remember in the Bible where the Apostles Peter and John were arrested because the Jewish leaders were very disturbed by the Apostles’ teaching that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead.
The two Apostles were thrown in jail, and the next day, the guards brought them before the “council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest.” (Acts 4:5-6)
In Israel, Peter and John were facing the full force of the law. They were in serious trouble. What we may forget are the ages of these two Apostles. Peter was no more than thirty years old, and John was probably in his late teens or early twenties – some of Jesus’ disciples may have been as young as thirteen. Both had been raised in a small town and were fishermen. But now, these small-town boys faced the force of their society, culture, and law.
When Peter and John were taken from the jail and brought before these “important” men, they did not give in to fear. What appeared to be a nation against two “hicks” was actually the leaders against the Holy Spirit!
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people”Acts 4:8
The leaders were amazed at the boldness of Peter and John. The leaders did all they could to silence these two guys, but the Apostles didn’t accept the message.
But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”Acts 4:19-20
Notice that the message to the leaders was not one of violence or revolution. Instead, it was a matter of free speech. We find in Romans 1:18 this same theme: “…who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”
Once again, we are told in God’s Word that ungodly men use the suppression of free speech in their attempt to silence God’s message; of course, they fail. Suppressing any will of God is a fool’s errand.
Now, in our world, there are powerful forces that once again want to silence the message of Jesus Christ. They want to prevent this truly good news from being heard by ordinary people. They attempt to do the same thing that the Apostles faced. Likewise, we should reply the way Peter and John replied and trust that the Holy Spirit will do for us what He has done continually for two-thousand years.
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