Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
Acts 4:13, 18-20
Sometimes those in authority seem to view other more “common” people as something less. In the verses above the religious leaders viewed Peter and John as just those kind of men- uneducated and common, but they did take note of one thing – “they had been with Jesus.”
So when they were told to stop speaking and teaching about Jesus, Ray Stedman notes –
“The disciples, very wisely and courteously, declined to obey this command. They pointed out that they had no choice, they cannot help speaking about the things they have seen and heard. The message they declared was so challenging, so transforming in its implications, both to the nation and to the world, that they cannot be silent and still be true to their relationship to God.”
Their experience with Christ gave them something that many may lack these days. Thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter and John had courage. I’ve heard a number of people address the need for courage recently, but Dennis Prager’s quote was among the first and the one I remember most frequently is this –
“The most uncommon of all good human traits is courage. But without courage, goodness is not possible.”
So, here’s a question to consider today – how would you rate your level of courage on the things that matter? Could you respond like Peter and John in the face of opposition?