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Faithfulness in danger
Bible Passage Acts 4: 13- 20
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Acts.

Faithfulness in danger

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached July 31, 2023

13 Now when the Jewish leaders saw the boldness of Peter and John and found out that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and realized that they had been with Jesus.

14 And seeing the man who was healed standing with them, they could not say anything against them.

15 So they ordered them to leave the Council and began to discuss the matter among themselves.

16 They said, “What should we do with these men? For it’s obvious to everybody living in Jerusalem that an unmistakable sign has been done by them, and we cannot deny it.

17 But to keep it from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them never again to speak to anyone in this name.”

18 So they called Peter and John back in and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

19 But Peter and John answered them, “You must decide whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than God,

20 for we cannot stop talking about what we’ve seen and heard.”

On one of their visits to the temple, Peter and John healed a crippled beggar. The man had been lying at the gate that led from the outer public court to the inner courts where only Jews were allowed, but as soon as he was healed he followed the disciples into the temple, jumping and praising God (Acts 3:1-10). These healings and the sermons of the disciples increased the number of Christians everywhere, and Jerusalem was not an exception.

When the number of Christians in Jerusalem increased rapidly due to Peter’s preaching, the Sadducees became angry. In particular, they were angry because all these people were responding to a message that was based on a belief in Jesus’ resurrection (The Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection of the dead). The Sadducees, therefore, had no hesitation in using their priestly power to arrest Peter and John and bring them before the Jewish Council.

The very bold Peter once again accused the Jews, especially their leaders, of rejecting and crucifying the Messiah (Acts 4: 10-11). The Holy Spirit helped Peter when he spoke to the rulers. He was bold, his words were wise and true.

Although the disciples of Jesus had not been taught in the Jewish law schools, they had been taught by Jesus. The members of the Sanhedrin recognized this and found it as difficult to argue with them as it had been to argue with Jesus.

Before Peter and John met Jesus, they were fishermen. The members of the Sanhedrin had gone to special schools. There, ‘rabbis’ (special teachers) taught them everything about the Jewish religion and Moses’ Law. They thought that they were cleverer than Peter and John. So, they were shocked that Peter and John were very confident when they answered Sanhedrin’s question. Peter and John even explained the scriptures. Usually, only rabbis did this. Then the men in the Sanhedrin remembered that Jesus had taught Peter and John.

To make matters more difficult for them, the healed man was proof that Jesus was still alive and working miracles (verses 13-14). Since the disciples had broken no laws, and since the healing had increased the Christians’ popularity, the Jewish leaders dared not punish them. They could do no more than command them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus. But the apostles refused to obey (verse 15-20).

🔷 No one can gag the one who is led by the Holy Spirit of God

🔷 True followers of Christ must not fear the crowd or human faces.

💥 Pray for the Spirit of faithfulness even in danger
💥 Commit the month of August into the hands of God

The Spirit of God is a fearless Spirit on whom all followers must rely. Even in danger, the believer must be brave and remain forever faithful to God.


In series Bright Morning Reflections