27 and when they had brought them, they set them before the council. and the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “we strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 but peter and the apostles answered, “we must obey God rather than men. 30 the God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 and we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” [acts 5:27-32]
you have filled jerusalem
i am so encouraged by the lives of these early believers in Christ. in following Jesus, they had traded in lives of peace and quiet for lives that would be in constant motion and lead to conflict.
these apostles were told not to teach in the name of Jesus, but they immediately got out of prison and did exactly the opposite. they knew that there was nothing in the world more powerful than the salvation offered in Christ, and there was no way they were going to keep quiet because they were told to. not a chance.
i wonder if the same can be said about me. is my neighborhood “filled with” this teaching”? Is there any doubt whatsoever about what i believe and why? am i willing to suffer ridicule and death for speaking the truth that makes us free? In matthew 16:24 Jesus says “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” we are called to nothing less than whatever following him brings us.
yet the good news is very good news! our teaching does not bring guilt and condemnation, but rather “repentance” and “forgiveness of sins”.
it is our honor to speak the truth of Jesus as we may have opportunity, and draw close to him daily that his love, grace, and peace may shine through all we say and do.
~ jason soroski