The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Peter and the other apostles had been proclaiming that a lame man was healed because of Jesus’ lifegiving power. Now, while this was happening, in Acts 4:1-4, the Jewish leaders along with a law enforcement person arrested them. They were not to be teaching the people about Jesus and the resurrection.
This incident shows us something important about the earliest Christians. They were not afraid to tell the truth, even if it resulted in their imprisonment. They insisted on boldly telling about Jesus. To this day, in parts of the world where the message of Jesus goes out boldly in the face of opposition, the message is effective. It is when we minimize the power of the Gospel that it becomes powerless.
We also notice that, even though the apostles were arrested, many of the people who had been listening were believing. In Acts 2 there were approximately three thousand converts. The number by this time, seemingly within a relatively short period of time, is more like five thousand. When God’s Word goes forth, proclaiming freedom and grace, people believe.
My question for modern readers is this. Why do we choose to downplay the power of the Gospel? Why do we not trust that it will be the power of God? There is no good reason to do so.
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