Acts 4:1-22 (AD 30)
Kept promises are a wonderful thing.
Compare these two sections – the first is Jesus warning and encouraging his disciples about what would happen under persecution. The second is from the incident recorded in today’s reading.
Luke 12:11-12 – “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
Acts 4:5-8 “The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…”
Jesus promised that the disciples would receive the Holy Spirit. They did.
Jesus promised that the disciples would be given the right words to say when hauled in for questioning. They were.
Perhaps a little sooner than they were hoping for, but they definitely were…
There is a specialness to standing up for our Saviour in moments of suffering. Not belligerently or combatively, as Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane with his sword, attacking the High Priest’s servant. That doesn’t prove love for God or win people to Christ. Any aggressive or defensive person can be like that. But this time Peter was calm, and with a desire to see Jesus’ enemies saved. He told them the painful truth, guided and led by the Holy Spirit. It’s the only situation in which we are specifically promised that Holy Spirit will give us wisdom and inspiration.
So don’t walk meekly into opposition: walk gently and boldly, knowing that you are not on your own, and that the salvation of the people in the room doesn’t depend on you being on your best form. Ask God for Holy Spirit’s help, and know that you’re getting it.
Because you know that God keeps his promises.