When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.”
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.
We’ve heard stories of eyewitnesses who refuse to come forward, or if they do, demand anonymity or a witness protection program. Yet these disciples—eyewitnesses of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus—demand neither. These “uneducated and ordinary” men, as they are described in an earlier passage, are transformed into expert witnesses: they had seen and heard and touched and dined with the Risen Jesus.
Emboldened by the Holy Spirit, how could they not share the good news that God had raised up Jesus?
How could they not bravely stand up to the council even though they’d already been imprisoned?
How could they not risk their own lives to teach in his name?
As long-awaited spring returns, God’s creation is filled with signs and wonders. Inspired by these bold eyewitnesses who filled Jerusalem with their teaching, go outside today to fill yourself with the glorious signs of new life and joyful hope.
—Diane Amento Owens is a spiritual director who encourages her directees to see the world through the lens of Ignatian spirituality.
Thank you, God, for spring’s birdsong and barely opened blooms.
Open my eyes and ears to the signs and wonders
that witness to your surprises and possibilities.
May I be aware of every holy encounter
with you today, Risen Lord.
—Diane Amento OwensPlease share the Good Word with your friends!