9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Peter was so much bolder following Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit. He and some of the other apostles would walk around the temple area speaking about Jesus and his teachings concerning the resurrection from the dead. The leaders of the community were not happy. They really wanted to arrest them, but because of events like the healing of a crippled man they were afraid of what the people might do.
Later, Peter, John and others would be arrested and beaten for continuing to preach about Jesus. There has always been an element of danger for those who have worked to spread the Gospel. In the early days, the disciples had to worry about persecution from the Romans as well as from others who did not want their power threatened.
There are still men and women today who go into areas that are dangerous to preach the Good News of Jesus and salvation. Men and women have been murdered, women have been raped, and churches destroyed by those who fear Jesus’ message of love. In spite of this, Christianity continues to spread. Whether we are threatened for our beliefs or not, whether we are missionaries to far off lands, or only in our own households, it takes courage to live Jesus’ message of love and justice in today’s world.
The message remains the same, and the fear of powerful people that this message could make them lose some of that power will always be there. Let Peter and the early apostles be our models. The Holy Spirit was on their side, and will also be with us.
Lord, we thank you for the courage of all those who faced persecution and danger to bring your message of salvation to the whole world. Please give us the courage to face a world that does not want to hear your message and witness to it boldly. Amen.