“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 nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying “what shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach 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 speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than 40 years old.”
Do you ever get scared or embarrassed to thank God in front of others when a blessing is placed upon your life? A couple years back I was watching a Super Bowl game with some unbelieving friends. At the end of the game one of the players said that he first and foremost wanted to thank God for the accomplishment. Then one of my friends, angrily said “Why do they always have to do that?” I responded, “Do what?” He ignorantly responded “That thanking God crap.” I was amazed. First of all because I did not know one of my friends had such a strong opinion against thanking God and secondly because I had never heard anyone say something so negative against an athlete for believing in God. Athletes usually say whatever they feel like in interviews with criticism only coming if they use foul language.
This is the vibe I get from the passage above. Peter and John had just healed a man who had been crippled for his entire life. When they began to give Jesus the credit for it they then become persecuted for doing so. Had they said they had done it by there own power they most likely would have been praised for doing such a great deed. However, because they rightfully gave the credit to Jesus, those who refuse to believe It opposes their own power become defensive. You see as humans we like to feel in control, we like to believe that we have the power to overcome evil, to abstain from temptation through our own power, and to believe that we have enough knowledge to overcome all kinds of diseases. But as followers of Christ we know that we can do nothing without Christ. So we should never feel embarrassed to give God the credit. He is the reason we are able to lay our heads down to sleep and wake in the morning. It is because of Him that we do not have to wrestle with the torment of our past mistakes. He lays a white garment upon us and gives us access to the Father.
The world will try to keep you from talking about Christ, but it our responsibility to STAND FIRM in our faith. Through this others lives will be blessed, as even though Peter and John were thrown in jail the message of the Messiah was spreading and the people were praising God. That is the ultimate goal, to lead others to Christ. Even when others condemn you, continue to rejoice in the name of Jesus Christ! God Bless