the Man…you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death . But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:23-24
Peter was not afraid to share the truth. The truth of their sin. Their blindness. He was not afraid to tell the growing crowd who Jesus really was, who He is. He had reason to fear.
As I read this I realized that then and now the name and message of Jesus often comes at a price. Then, John the baptized had been imprisoned for the sake of Jesus. Jesus himself crucified. The religious leaders of the day wanted to silence the name of Jesus. Later in Acts we will read of tribulations, imprisonment and death due to speaking the name of Jesus. Today we hear of persecution, imprisonment and death of many around the world because of the name of Jesus.
Yes, Peter had reasons to fear speaking out about the truth of Jesus. Yet, he still spoke. He was not afraid. It causes me to wonder, “are we afraid?” Do we speak the truth of Jesus, do we share His name? Is that, in part, what is wrong with America? As Christ followers we live in fear of losing our jobs, suffering, and persecutions if we speak His name. So we try to live our lives quietly not bothering anyone. Is this what Jesus meant we He said go and tell the world about Me?
My heart has been pricked by Peter’s words, his fearlessness. He knew truth, he knew Jesus and nothing would stop him from sharing what he knew. He didn’t try to water the truth down or say it in a way that was all fuzzy and warm. No, he told the crowd, you killed Jesus who was God, the promised Messiah. Then when they ask “what shall we do?” He says, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2: 37-38)
So I ask myself. Is my fear of what man might do or think so powerful that I shrink back in fear? Could I, or would I speak up at the cost of my job or life? What if it meant losing favor with friends or family?
Will I allow my government to tell me what I can or can not say or do when it comes to the name of Jesus? Am I willing to face whatever may come in order that the name of Jesus is shared?
Another thought crosses my mind, what if it’s because of my silence that His name is mocked or misrepresented? The world has such a distorted view of who Jesus is, could it be due to the silence of so many who know the truth of His name?
The name of Jesus strikes fear in the hearts of His enemy. His name gives power to His true children. If this is so then why is it that His children are so often afraid to speak His name?
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 2 Tim 1:7-9 (high lighted words mine)