Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Tue, 24/04/2012 – 11:09
Year B (2011-2012)
Bible Book: Acts / Handelinge
Verse: 5 – 12
Text: Acts 4:5-12
When was the last time you did something you considered fantastic and expected people to commend you for it? How would you feel if it turns out that nobody took notice of this great deed of yours? Would you feel sad, disappointed or even mad? Any of these feelings would be apporopriate; after all even the best of us get encouraged when we are appreciated. Now, let us assume a worst case scenario. Imagine you did a good work worthy of commendation and instead of being commended for it you were rather attacked, vilified and accused. It does not stop there but you end up behind bars because of it and you are made to face the law. This can not happen, you might say. Believe me, this is not a story. It happened way back during the time of the apostles and still happens today.
Our story took place a day after the man crippled from birth was healed by Peter and John at the gate called Beautiful (Acts 3). The miraculous healing was simply amazing and it quickly drew a crowd. Peter used the opportunity to talk about Jesus and focused the attention of the crowd on him as the author of the wonderful miracle. The story did not end there. While Peter and John were still speaking, some religious people came to arrest them (v.1). These were people that should have known better. A special assembly of high calibre religious leaders was called in Jerusalem to try these two apostles (v.5-6). And what was the contention? “By what power or what name did you do this?” (v.7). The problem they had with this good work was the fact that it did not derive from them neither was it permitted by them. They also had a problem with the “theology” being propounded by the apostles – resurrection from the dead (v.2). In other words, it was about them, not about the people, not about God. They felt they had a territory to protect and they were ready to use their might to crush these underlings. They were ready to discredit a good work and to slander the people who did it because it did not conform to what they wanted. Thank God for the boldness of Peter, he was not afraid to declare the name of Jesus (v.8-12).
How true today in our context of HIV and AIDS. People who should know better attack those who are bold and compassionate enough to respond. They attack the people doing great work in HIV prevention and care, label them and play down on the impact of their work, just because it does not conform to their methodology and beliefs. That lives are impacted and hopes are restored does not mean much, as long as it is not endorsed by them, it must be “shot down.” Peter was bold, so should we. As long as we act as ambassadors in the name of Jesus and for His glory, no amount of scolding or opposition should stop us. Let us proceed in the might of the LORD.
To think about: What areas of your compassionate response are you still apologetic about? What impact are you likely to make if you did your work with more boldness?
Author: Fowe T (Rev)