Persecution of those who believe in Jesus Christ has escalated rapidly all around the world. Why are so many political authorities afraid of men and women having real living vibrant faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God. It is irrational and illogical. Most believers want to do all they can to help the secular authorities. Yet, it has been like this from the beginning.
Priorities can lead you to prison.
Peter and John are filled with the power of God and determined to be present at worship.
One of their priorities was worship. A disciple of Jesus Christ will always be present at worship. On their way to worship they met a man who was sitting begging outside the gate of the Temple in Jerusalem. He was in his 40's and had never walked.
Peter spoke to this man, took him by the hand, and helped him stand. Strength flowed into his feet, ankles and legs, and within a few minutes he was walking, jumping and praising God. Well, what would you do if you had just been healed miraculously by the power of the risen Lord Jesus Christ?
He had been down all his days. These servants of God lifted him up.
Many people need a lift.
Everyone knew something supernatural had happened, and Peter has some explaining to do. He describes how this man had been healed through faith in the name of Jesus. Trouble soon comes on the scene. This is the first real trouble. This is very different from being laughed at, ridiculed, and accused of being drunk.
The authorities are greatly disturbed because the apostles are teaching the people and proclaiming that Jesus is risen from the dead. Peter and John are seized, arrested and put in prison. These religious authorities in Jerusalem show no concern whatsoever for the man who had been healed. It is as if they were not interested.
However, there is fruit, as more people come to believe in Jesus Christ.
Peter confronted sickness, and challenged sin in people without opening his mouth, the consequence of which lands him in a Jerusalem jail.
Why is it that when you give someone in need real help or when you wish to give real help to people in the Name of Jesus Christ and in the Power of the Holy Spirit, there can appear such a negative reaction? Do remember that there is an enemy of God who hates and detests people serving and ministering in the love and strength of the risen and living Jesus.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled “Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M. A. and B. D.degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.