and as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. and they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. [acts 4:1-3]
the truth is annoying sometimes.
we’ve all experienced it. when we finally gave in to a reality that was going to be inconvenient to us. when something was brought to our attention that was going to humble us. when our plans were thwarted by something that was outside of our control.
here we see priests, leaders who were supposed to be serving as representatives between God and his people, who had been lost in a sea of legalism and self-righteous power. we also see the captain of the temple, second in command to the high priest, who was supposed to be protecting and guarding the purity of the temple, who was supposed to be assuring the holiness of worship. then we see the sadducees, a religious sect that was adamant that there was no resurrection from the dead. these men are greatly annoyed because their agenda is being threatened. their power is being threatened. the comfort of their self righteous ways is being threatened. so they take action and throw the men in prison!
put yourself in the shoes of these two. you have been called to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. you have been promised that there will be opposition. you have been warned that you are sent out as sheep among wolves. you have been given the power of the Holy Spirit, but have been given no promise that the task would be easy. what would stop you from proclaiming the good promises of God fulfilled in Jesus?
the reality is that we are in the shoes of these two.
- you have been called to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. – but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. [1 peter 2:9]
- you have been promised that there will be opposition. – be sober-minded; be watchful. your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [1 peter 5:8]
- you have been warned that you are sent out as sheep among wolves. – beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. [matt 7:15]
- you have been given the power of the Holy Spirit but have been given no promise that the task will be easy. – who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. in this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. [1 peter 1:5-7]
so what will keep you from proclaiming the good promises of God fulfilled in Jesus? what do you fear? maybe losing a friend, losing a job, losing respect, being targeted as strange or closed minded or annoying. maybe you simply dislike discomfort.
today, in the presence of your Father who longs to make his name known through you, confess your fears. ask for a disregard for your own comfort and for it to be replaced by a high regard for his glory. ask for boldness and zeal. ask for a deep love for others and compassion for the lost. he is worthy to be proclaimed!
all the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, o Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. [psalm 138:4-5]
~ arwen eastman