[Simon Peter said] “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Acts 2:36
Thus far, we have examined some of the Apostle Peter’s spiritual highs and lows.
Hopefully, we resemble Peter in our profession of Jesus as Lord and our willingness to put
action to our words of loyalty. If we are honestly self-aware, we likely also strongly
resemble Peter in his reluctance to identify with Jesus in the public square. We recognize
the shame he felt when the rooster crowed, because we have often performed just as
poorly. Thankfully, Peter’s story and example did not end there.
A short time after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples were gathered in something of a safe
house within the city of Jerusalem. The promised Holy Spirit inhabited their dwelling
place, and then indwelt their beings. The event was miraculous and confusing. Suddenly,
these Galileans were fluent in many languages. The commotion was heard outside by the
crowd of foreign Jews gathered for the festival of Pentecost. Speculation was rampant, and
the disciples were accused of morning-time drunkenness.
Previously timid Peter stepped forward and delivered a bold and scathing rebuke. Mincing
no words, he unabashedly and publicly professed Jesus as the Promised Messiah and
accused his listeners of being Christ’s executioners. (See quote above.) Later, after healing
a lame man, Peter and John were arrested and brought before the Jewish leadership.
They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Acts 4:7-10.
Peter’s boldness is unmistakable. Weeks earlier, he was intimidated by a peasant girl’s
fireside inquiry. Now, he addresses crowds and power brokers of Jerusalem, charging both
audiences with murdering the Messiah.
Peter’s transformation is the clear result of the Holy Spirit’s presence. “Then Peter, filled
with the Holy Spirit, said to them…”. All of us who genuinely claim Jesus as Lord have the
same powerful indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He provides words and the courage to speak
Peter’s bravery was also bolstered by the positive peer pressure of community. His
castigation of the religious authorities came while standing with John. So, too, did his
rebuke of the crowd.
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd… Acts 2:14
Lone Ranger Christianity is not the biblical model. Jesus had twelve disciples, not one.
Early in His ministry, Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs for some on-the-job training. He
knew, as our own experience confirms, that one’s faith is strengthened when exercised in
community with like-minded believers. Our willingness and ability to effectively witness
outside the confines of our church “safe houses” increases dramatically when we are
accompanied by others.
Peter’s example is one we should strive to resemble. Joining the Christian Lawyer
Directory community can help you “honor God by publicly pledging allegiance to His
Son”. You are not alone.