On the Anvil 3: Now, Don’t Get Carried Away! Max Lucado
Peter was sharp.
He kept his distance from Jesus.
“I’ll stay close enough to see him,” Peter reasoned.
“But not too close, or I may get caught.”
Good thinking, Peter.
Don’t get too involved —it might hurt.
Don’t be too loyal —you might get branded.
Don’t show too much concern —they’ll crucify you, too.
We need more men like you, Peter.
Men who keep religion in its place.
Men who don’t stir the water.
Men who reek with mediocrity.
That’s the kind of man God needs, yessir.
One who knows how to keep his distance:
“Now, I’ll pay my dues and I’ll come once a week, but . . .
well . . .
you can get carried away, you know.”
Yes, you can get carried away . . . up a hill… to a cross… —and killed.
Peter learned a lesson that day —a hard lesson....
It is better to have never followed Jesus than to have followed him and denied him.
Mark these words:
Follow at a distance and you’ll deny the Master.
You won’t die for a man you can’t touch.
But stay near to him, in his shadow. . . .
You’ll die with him, gladly.
Boldness of Found in Jesus
Preaching / Proclaiming in the temple courts
Declaring the power of Jesus’ name
Pointing out their ignorance as they kill their Messiah
Testifying to the power of Jesus Christ resurrected!
Pleading with them to repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ
The Truth Opposed
Jesus stated clearly in John 14:6 He is TRUTH… When truth is declared in a dark world where the father of lies dwells we should expect opposition...
Jesus had already warned His disciples of this and brought encouragement through His Words… John 15:18
Jesus shares how difficult it will be bu gives hope after this message of trials to come… John 16:33 John would later write in 1 John 4:4
We see the first examples of this opposition as Peter preaches here… This brief sermon leads to the arrest of Peter and John (some think even the man who was healed!)
As Luke unfolds the spread of the gospel we see the beginnings here of persecution
Interesting how Jesus Christ can be offensive in this world...
Mankind does not like to face their personal sin
To follow Jesus is a very narrow minded view…
To believe in Jesus one must believe in the Resurrection too!
The Sadducees did not believe in the Resurrection of the dead and accepted only the Pentateuch (first five books)
This teaching enraged them and they had them arrested… BUT!!!
Look at Acts 4:4 God’s Word does not return void!
God works through the proclamation of His Word!
Jesus Christ on Trial
Consider the ones who judge in this courtroom… top scholarly minds and rulers in Jerusalem.
Educated in the things of the law, the scriptures, and powerful… Intimidating individuals!
Court is held the next day due to no night courts were allowed
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 most likely was the basis for the trial… A miracle had been done and teaching with it… did it teach truth?
Their question affirms this “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”
Peter is clear and concise… Filled with the Spirit Acts 4:8-12
We are really being tried and persecuted for healing this man… Evidence!
Who and How?…
Not God in a vague way to be dismissed, but clear...
Jesus Christ (Anointed One/ Messiah) the Nazareen
The same One you crucified
The One who God raised from the dead
That is the who and the how…
Now to show that his teaching is NOT leading people away from God Peter recites Psalm 118:22 (a recognized Messianic Psalm)
Essentially… Jesus is the promised Messiah, you rejected Him, and the proof is seen in the healing of this man.
Peter continues… verse 12 “salvation can only be found in Jesus!”
Preach it Peter!
They end up having to let Peter and John go, tell them not to teach Jesus anymore, but they declare they must.
Persecution will continue and even get to bitter levels but I want us to note something stated in verse 13… Acts 4:13
The Power of Jesus to Stand Firm
Peter and John fishermen, not skilled in law or powerful leaders in the world, not formally taught the scriptures… yet amazed those who were!
the confidence in them pertaining to the scriptures had only been seen with Christ!
There is a boldness and confidence that can only come from a personal and intimate drawing close to Jesus.
Not just hearing about Him
Not just reading someone else deep intimacy
Knowing Him, not knowing of Him
This kind of relationship allows one to:
Take on a skilled warrior who is a giant with a sling
To willingly go into a firery furnace
What a statement… “recognize them as having been with Jesus.”
Can people say this of you?
Set Sunday aside and take every other day… which way would the evidence point if on trial
Peter at one time followed at a distance… But never again.
That day Peter stood BOLDLY for Jesus, where do you stand?