Before Easter I was given a sheet of tiny stickers about Jesus and His resurrection, with scriptures, and I wondered what to do with them until an early morning visit from the Jehovah Witnesses. As retired people we often have a leisurely start to the day, and so I watched Paul answer the door wearing his pyjamas, trying to tell two people the truth about Jesus. The next day I felt inspired to put some of these stickers all over the letterbox.
Well, after Easter, I didn’t really want to peel them off the letterbox, so, there they are. So far it has resulted in two amazing conversations at the door. The postman rang the doorbell to say how pleased he was to see the stickers, to give Paul a thumbs up and to ask some questions about what the bible taught. He had just recently decided to start going to Church again after a long absence.
The second person was a salesman who, after doing his job to promote a product to us, wanted to ask a question about the books of the bible. He was an atheist but said he had learned at school what all the books of the bible were and memorised some scriptures to get prizes. I asked him if he remembered any scripture and he quoted Psalm 121 at a speed faster than lightning, afraid, if he paused for breath, he would forget the words.
I have just been reading in Acts Chapter 4 about the apostles Peter and John and how they were arrested and put in prison for proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus. When they stood the next day in front of the whole of the Sanhedrin, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and told them the lame man ad been miraculously healed by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the very man whom the Sanhedrin had ordered to be crucified. He told them that God had raised Jesus from the dead and then goes on to quote our scripture verse for today, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’. The verse comes from Psalm 118, one of the ‘hallel’ psalms that Jewish believers sing or recite on Jewish holidays, so it would have been most familiar to the members of the Sandedrin.
Peter proclaimed the very heart of the Gospel when he went on to say, ‘And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). It was truly astonishing for these leaders, the high priest, the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law to hear this from someone they considered to be an ordinary, unschooled man, but they did take note that these two had been with Jesus.
After a private discussion about what to do next, they ordered Peter and John to stop speaking or teaching anymore in the name of Jesus, which Peter and John refused to obey. The Sanhedrin released them without any punishment on this occasion, because everyone was praising God for the miraculous healing of the forty-year-old man who had been lame since birth.
The example of Peter and John refusing to be silenced about Jesus and proclaiming that salvation is found in no one else should give us fresh inspiration and encouragement as we are confronted by those who oppose the Christian faith and attack the teaching of the bible in an aggressive and hostile way.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus is the cornerstone and salvation is found in no other name. Help us to remain strong in the truth that Jesus made atonement for our sins when He died in our place and that He rose from the dead and is alive forevermore to give us the gift of forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit. Help us not to be intimated by the many challenges in our day to the wonderful teaching of the bible which is still transforming lives all over the world. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
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