how to handle opposition
Acts 4:1-22 (JDV)
Acts 4:1 While they were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple police, and the Sadducees confronted them,
Acts 4:2 because they were annoyed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
Acts 4:3 So they forced hands on them and took them into custody until the next day since it was already evening.
Acts 4:4 But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
Acts 4:5 The next day, their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem
Acts 4:6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all the members of the high-priestly family.
Acts 4:7 After they had Peter and John stand before them, they began to question them: “By what power or in what name have you done this?”
Acts 4:8 Then Peter was filled with the Sacred Breath and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders:
Acts 4:9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man, by what means he was rescued,
Acts 4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified and whom God raised up from the dead – by him this man is standing here before you healthy.
Acts 4:11 This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the head corner.
Acts 4:12 There is rescue in no one else, for there is no other name under the sky given to people by which it is necessary to rescue us.”
Acts 4:13 When observing the boldness of Peter and John and realizing that they had been uneducated and amateur men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:14 And since they were seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in opposition.
Acts 4:15 After they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, they conferred among themselves,
Acts 4:16 saying, “What should we do with these men? Because an obvious sign has been done through them, clear to everyone residing in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
Acts 4:17 But so that this does not spread any further among the people, let’s threaten them against speaking to anyone in this name again.”
Acts 4:18 So they called for them and directed them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:19 Peter and John reacted to them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide;
Acts 4:20 because we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Acts 4:21 After threatening them further, they let them go. They found no way to punish them because the people were all giving glory to God over what had been done.
Acts 4:22 You see, this sign of healing had been performed on a man over forty years old.
how to handle opposition
This story is in our gospel guidebook because God wants us to know that we will face opposition in our attempts to share Christ.
The principle is this: boldly do as much good as you can in order to draw attention to the difference Jesus can make. When you do, expect people to be annoyed at the rocking boat. Use this opposition to do the same thing: proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. When people pressure you to keep your faith quiet, don’t give in to the pressure. Do what God wants, and let him take care of the results.
Lord, make us people who intentionally draw attention to you, even when others want us to draw back.