In this politically correct, cotton wooled, deeply prone to offence world we live in today, it can be tempting to sit down and shut up and mind your own business so as to avoid any unnecessary discomfort!
But it seems that we’ve begun to worship and value our comfort and security more than what God values.
Rather than getting some skin in the game and putting it all on the line for what we truly believe in, we’ve relegated ourselves to the grandstands where no game can ever be won.
Peter and John however, were cut from a different cloth. No matter the levels of discomfort or pain, nothing could prevent or stop them from proclaiming the love of God and the name of Jesus.
The rulers of that time tried to shut them up and get them back in the corner:
“We gave you strict orders never again to teach in this man’s name!” he said. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him!… [Then], they called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go’ – Acts 5:27-42 (NLT)
But Peter and the apostles had already decided that nothing, not even the threat of death would stop them:
“We must obey God rather than any human authority” (5:29)
After their release, rather than cowering in the corner, they went right back to doing exactly what they were doing before!
‘The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah” (5:41-42)
Rather than fearing disgrace they embraced it. Instead of fearing pain and rejection they rejoiced in it, because they knew that the rejection they faced was not personal, but because they identified as belonging to Jesus.
If we are going to change this world with the love of Jesus, we need more people like Peter who were unstoppable. Let’s not cower in the corner, but embrace any disgrace that may come our way as we relentlessly run with the good news of the love and forgiveness available to all through Jesus!