Silence

There are times when silence is really welcome.

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Acts 4:14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

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I love this passage of Scripture.  I appreciate the irony of what happened to bring this about.  Think back for a moment.  The kingdom of darkness had finally succeeded, or so they thought, in crucifying the Lord of glory.  But they did not know the aftermath.  The world has arrested, abused, beaten, and crucified their only hope.  Though He was now raised from the dead, the infant church found itself under an abusive scrutiny that frightened many.  Yet at the hour of prayer, about 3 PM daily, Peter and John went up to the temple to pray.  It was there they encountered and healed the lame man, and the uproar of his praise and the reaction of the people drew such public attention that Peter and John are now faced with threats.  Their boldness, being duly noted by the priests and Sadducees, only aggravated them.  I am sure they had plenty that they wanted to say and do to Peter and John.  But they faced a problem.  They were brought to speechlessness by one thing.  The spectacle of the lame man who had been healed stood before them, right there in their midst, and for that physical, very visible, evidentiary reason, the priests and Sadducees “could say nothing against it.”

At that point, I find myself rejoicing in the power and majesty of our Lord.  I also often find myself chuckling a bit on the inside because of what had to be the look of utter frustration on the faces of the priests and Sadducees.  Imagine for a moment.  For centuries, the priests, Pharisees, and Sadducees had all fancied themselves as the spiritual and even social elites among the Jews.  After all, these were the apparent guardians of all the Jews had left before Jesus came – their faith; their belief system.  They were the guardians, the safe-keepers who had now become, in their own eyes, a master class of the Jews.  But suddenly they found themselves being only men of frustrated words, while men of a flourishing faith spoke healing, brought a message of reconciliation, and stood their ground in great boldness of the faith.  The empty words of the priests and Sadducees were nothing against the evidence laden public that stood all about Peter and John.

While I am sure there was great rejoicing among the people, there had to also be a marvelous sense of irony that the once powerful holders of tradition were standing stripped naked of that power because something new had come.  Salvation from the Lord had come, and was now being preached, demonstrated, and modeled among the people by an ever-growing congregation of Christians – little Christs; little anointed ones.  And it was recognized that they held the true power.  And that recognition silenced the enemy.  It’s time we produced silencing evidence to the world through a praising, super-natural church.

Manna for Today – Acts 4:1-22; Psalm 64

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