#carmelprays – Acts 5:17-42
Opening Song: There Is None Like You
Read Scripture: Acts 5:17-42
The Cost of Speaking the Truth
The crowd has just witnessed the signs and wonders that the apostles performed. In response to that, many, except the high priests, chose to believe in the Lord. The high priests were jealous because of the success of Jesus’ disciples drawing many to believe in Jesus. They decide to put Jesus’ disciples into jail. The gospels told us that the high priests were always testing Jesus during his ministry, and accusing him constantly. Jesus was innocent, yet he was arrested and put to death on a cross. Similarly, Jesus’ disciples were arrested for speaking the truth and healing the sick in the name of Jesus. Well, the high priest would probably think that the disciples were healing in the name of the devil (Mk 3:22).
The angel of the Lord came to rescue the disciples and tasked them to teach in the temple courts about new life in Christ. When the high priests questioned Jesus’ disciples, they replied, “We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.” (v29) Jesus’ disciples knew that they would be further persecuted by the high priests, yet they were bold to proclaim God’s Word in the name of Jesus.
While Gamaliel successfully convinced the other teachers of the law to let Jesus’ disciples go, it was not without some physical torture and another warning not to speak in the name of Jesus (v40). As Christians who are commissioned by Jesus to tell others about Him (Mk 16:15), reading this passage would have given us a chill down our spines and we would think twice about speaking about Jesus. Yet, we see that the apostles did not back down and continued to proclaim the good news that Jesus is the Messiah!
In our secular world, we do not face the same persecution the disciples faced. Yet, it is tempting for us to back down when our friends and family ridicule us when we share our faith; we desire to please people more than to please God. This passage shows how the apostles set an example for us to be bold in proclaiming the Word of God, never backing down even when their lives were at stake. We share the same commission as the disciples to go and tell others about Jesus. Be bold, be courageous, be prayerful as we fulfill the great commission that Jesus has given us!
Pray in Response
Lord, what a great and mighty God I serve. Yet, You would stoop down to dwell among us. You would come to seek and save the lost! Thank You Jesus! In You I have new life; life not only for the present but for all eternity! What a gift! How do I show my gratitude? What am I prepared to sacrifice, Lord? What would You ask of me? To stand up for my faith. To declare boldly the wonderful news of salvation. To risk the ridicule of family and friends that they may see the sincerity of my faith and in time, to see Who You are. Father, may I be strong and courageous to know that You are with me wherever I go. Thank You Lord that I can trust You in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Response Song: Even Unto Death
By Ee Pin Koon