Can You help Speaking about what You have Seen and Heard?


Most of us have participated in the activity where a group of people formed in a circle. By whispering in the ear of the person next to him, the first person shares some information with that neighbor who in turns shares that information with the person next to him. This continues until the information gets back to the initiator of the information. In almost all situations, the story has taken on several attributes not originally shared. What was reported took on a life of its own.

News outlets in print, on television and on the web are widely circulated. While many may not like the tenor of the news reported, none of us can deny that news is regularly and repeatedly presented. What is so important about the news? I am not sure, but I work in an environment where news is always talked about. Students and staff alike in a school always talk about the juiciest stories that are propagated among the masses. As in most juicy stories, there are elements of the incredible and or the exaggerated.

This same motivation surfaces in the Word of God too. The gospel message burned in the hearts of the disciples and other believers that they shared Christ’s story even in the face of societal leaders forbidding them and/or persecuting them. What had Christ done in their lives to make them want to share with people? It makes me face the question Can You help Speaking about what You have Seen and Heard? Well, we can get a glimpse into answer that question in Acts 4. Peter, whom Christ said “on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” In this passage, we see Peter speaking about what he had seen and heard. Let’s read it.

Acts 4

The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.

The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 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, 10 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. 11 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”

18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

What Peter could not help Speaking about what He had Seen and Heard? In regards to Jesus Christ, Peter proclaimed that” Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” Peter and John were commanded not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. “19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

We, in America at this time, are not forbidden to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. How many of us speak or teach with similar commitment as Peter and John? In many cases, we have no real threats about speaking or teaching about Jesus; yet, we fail to do so. It begs me to ask myself have I truly Seen and Heard Jesus. What about you? Can You help Speaking about what You have Seen and Heard?

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