The religious ‘top brass’- “the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, were still very much annoyed about this miracle and the power behind it- the Risen Lord! How they wanted to shut up any preaching and teaching concerning the Resurrection and its implications- “that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead”.
This teaching was powerful. The number of believers was on the increase, with about five thousand believing this life changing stuff! So they tried everything in their power to stop the proclamation of this message, but this was a fight for which they were ill equipped.13 When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, realised that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. They knew that something inexplicable, something. illogical, that is, outside human wisdom, (but explainable through the wisdom of God) had happened; and they were wise enough not to pronounce judgement there and then.
They tried to placate and pacify the apostles by asking them not to talk and teach about Jesus anymore; but the Holy Spirit cannot be contained and entrapped! We cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.
I recall a story told by my deceased mother-friend Sarah Payne of Salem Methodist Church, Montserrat. It had to do with a barefooted man who kept interrupting his minister’s preaching as he interjected “Praise the Lord!” The preacher offered to give him a pair of shoes which he would gladly have received, if only he kept quiet for three consecutive Sundays. He endured two Sundays all right, but near the close of the third sermon, he exclaimed “Shoes or no shoes- Hallelujah!” He was moved from within to utter this praise, and he allowed nothing on the outside to contradict his conviction based on experience.
Give me the boldness to proclaim where the audience would rather not hear, you. O God, as the psalmist declares, even your silence is heard as nature tells of your greatness (Psalm 19). Amen.