Jesus followers spread His message of the Gospel, first to the Jews and then to Gentiles, and Paul founded Christian communities throughout the Roman Empire. Despite repressions and bloody persecutions, the Church grew. What motivated these men to turn the then known world upside down? Was it fame? No, but many of them became famous. Was it courage? Not at the arrest of Jesus, for they had all fled. But yet, there was courage later on. What gave them the courage? I believe that no one can meet Jesus Christ and take him seriously, and ever be the same again.
What then made the difference? I believe we can find the answer to that question from the book called The Acts of The Apostles. It is in this book that we find that the Apostles were endued with power from above. Jesus had said to them, "Tarry ye in Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high."
Jesus, himself, had that power to see him through his trial, death and resurrection and He was sending that same power to His Apostles to see them through their trial.
That trial was not long in coming for we see the twelve, including Matthias, standing before the ruling Sanhedrin. "We strictly charged you not to teach in this name," said Caiaphas, the high priest, "yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us." "We must obey God rather than men," answered Peter, speaking for the group. With growing outrage, the members of the Sanhedrin heard him say that the twelve men, along with the Holy Spirit, "whom God has given to those who obey him," were witnesses to God's having exalted Jesus "at his right hand as Lord and Savior."
When the Apostles claimed that the Holy Spirit was speaking to them, the Sanhedrin was angered. These men were now insinuating that the members of the Sanhedrin, lacking this Holy Spirit, were themselves disobedient toward God. If it had not been for Gamaliel interceding on their behalf the Apostles would have been imprisoned. Gamalial spoke to the leaders, "I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!"
And so the twelve were beaten, charged once more not to speak in the name of Jesus, and released. " And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ."
These believers had experienced despair at their Masters death, had found renewed hope in his resurrection, and had been filled with awe and elation at his ascension. Being obedient to Him they had received that power, the Holy Spirit, which has been promised, not only to them, but to all those who love His appearing.
“I am with thee to deliver thee saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1:8b)
Oswald Chambers writes, “Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are to be a matter of indifference to us, and our hold on these things should be very loose. In essence, Jesus says, “I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you remove yourself from My deliverance.”
Reference: The Book Of Acts, from The Holy Bible.
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