Two of the most known apostles were told not to speak. Their punishment was one of silence. (Acts 4.18)
Their crime? Healing a lame beggar. (Acts 3.6-8)
As Peter and John stood before the council and heard their punishment, they could not help but speak. The Jewish Council knew they could not deny the miracle (Acts 4.16) and their only recourse was to silence Peter and John.
When Peter and John heard their judgement that they were “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4.18) they could not help but respond. Their answer was simple, but passionate. They said, “Whether is it right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than God, you judge., for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4.19-20)
In 1962, John Stott wrote a timeless truth about evangelism which speaks volumes; even today. He stated, “Nothing shuts the mouth, seals the lips, and ties the tongue like the secret poverty of our own spiritual experience.”
To put it simple, we cannot share what we do not possess. When we are silent, we still speak. We do not speak the same as using words, but we speak. We communicate. Our silence can be an indicator we have not been saved, or we have hidden the blessings of Christ and the life that He provides to us, so that we have nothing to share.
It should be a prayer that we desire to be like the disciples who passionately answered, “we can’t help but speak about the wonderful things we’ve seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
What will you speak about today?
Just a thought,