The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves.
"What should we do with these men?" they asked each other. "We can't deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus' name again." So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
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 4:13-20 NLT
Threatened and told to stop preaching and sharing Jesus, the apostles had a very simple answer: "We can't stop!" Then they gave the council two powerful reasons why they couldn't and wouldn't stop proclaiming Jesus. First, their allegiance was to God and what God wanted them to do, not what the ruling council wanted them to do. They were committed to living out the mission of God to reach all people with the message of Jesus. Second, they had seen and heard things that were impossible not to tell. The gospel is more than Good News; it is great news that is uncontainable. When people hear this Good News and then experience Jesus' presence and power in their lives, they cannot keep it to themselves. So, with whom are you, and with whom am I, going to share the Good News this week?
Father, I know that you sent your Son because you love all people and want them to come to salvation in him. Forgive us when we forget to share that message. Forgive us and empower us when we are too fearful to share that message. Most of all, please make Jesus' presence and power real in our lives today so we have something personal and undeniable that we cannot keep to ourselves. I ask this in Jesus' name and so that the world might know your grace. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- John 3:16-17
- John 9:13-25
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.