Links Daily Devotional

‘Guess What?!’

“For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20, NIV)

You may not start off your fresh golf stories with that exact expression—“Guess what?!”—but you jump in with an air of excitement, and your buddies know not to get in the way of a train with this much steam.

Sometimes the story is not even our own. We’re just as eager to talk up a buddy’s goofy embarrassments as we are to talk about our holed bunker shots. But it’s also true that we’ll proclaim another’s merits if they come through with a career round: “Wow, she played great today!”

You get a sense of this kind of can’t-wait-to-tell-you compulsion when you read about the words and actions of Peter and John in the third and fourth chapters of Acts.

To begin, the apostles healed a crippled beggar outside the temple in Jerusalem. It was no small miracle, performed in the name of Jesus, and the healed man “jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God” (Acts 3:8). Even the opponents of this burgeoning movement of Jewish believers found themselves saying, “They have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it” (4:16).

The miracle was coupled with Peter’s preaching of Jesus as the promised Messiah and call to repentance, “so that your sins may be wiped, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus” (3:19-20).

It was clear that Peter and John had taken up the task of preaching the Good News. Some time before, when Jesus was still with them, it was Peter who had said to Jesus, “You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God.” But three denials on the night of Jesus’ betrayal had reduced Peter to the weak man he was, and while he had been restored to Jesus, telling the Lord that he loved him and would “feed his sheep,” the test of time had yet to come. Now that it was here, Peter was passing that test with boldness.

But here is the greater truth. Peter and John did not see the work of proclaiming Jesus as a “task.” This was not some menial assignment that had to be pushed through. No, they were compelled. There was nothing else for them to do but tell this great story of Jesus, near and far, in private houses and the public square.

In the Greek of the manuscript, the literal structure of this verse looks like this: “We cannot but speak…” You see, no option. For those who have been occupied by it, the story is too big to contain. That’s how I want it to reside in—and burst forth—from me!

Jeff Hopper
August 31, 2015
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