One thing that strikes me in these next verses of Acts is the courage of Peter and John. At the beginning of this chapter, Peter and John are still in Jerusalem where, just days before, Jesus had been violently killed. Now, in chapter 4, they are taken to the Sanhedrin, the same body which plotted to have Jesus killed and tried to make it a Roman act. If I had been standing in their shoes, I would have assumed that I would be following in Jesus’ steps to crucifixion, or worse.
Perhaps they were frightened. The verses do not say whether Peter and John were resigned to their fate after they were arrested at the temple and therefore had nothing to lose in speaking out, or that they were confidant in their faith that their fate made no difference.
By reading ahead through the first 5 or 6 chapters of Acts, the apostles grow more and more courageous, as they perform more miracles and bring more people to belief in Christ. At one point, they even rejoice in their arrest and flogging as this is a sign that they are having the desired affect.
And I can’t even bring myself to talk to co-workers about Christ. Shame on me! I don’t have to worry about flogging or death. People may laugh at me, or even reject me, but that certainly seems far less than what the disciples faced. Richard Leach uses a great analogy saying that if we have a cure for cancer, shouldn’t we be sharing it? Isn’t saving someone’s life worth the risk of being rejected? The only real risk is that we may lose our opportunity to bring someone to know Christ. And that life will still be lost. That, friends, is the tragedy.