Being Bold Despite the Mocking Voice

Peter, having been through this before with his denial of Jesus, didn’t fall for it again. He had previously been intimidated by a questioning voice, but now, he would stop and look it right in the eye. He was no longer “Peter the denier” but “Peter the Rock”, the one who received the revelation of Jesus as the Son of God, the revelation on which God would now build his church. Peter, having been sifted before, is now pure courage.

There were soft hearts in the midst of this crowd, good soil on which the word of God was waiting to be planted.

Who knows what could have happened had Peter been bold with the servant girl, and answered her truthfully? He’d feared for his life –that, like Jesus, he would end up a condemned man. But what if she had been asking so that she could hear the other side of the story, to find out what this Jesus was really like?

What if Peter had been courageous enough to share the stories of his adventures with Jesus? To tell about the multiple miracles of the multiplication of loaves and the fishes, about the man born blind who could now see, the epileptic boy whom the disciples couldn’t heal, but Jesus did? What if Peter had told the servant girl about the wedding at Cana, or the resurrection of Lazarus as an eye witness, or the man through the roof whose friends had believed for him and ultimately seen him walk out of that house? But, he didn’t say any of that. He’d stayed in the shadows. And he was determined not to make that mistake again.

Yes, there is a place for caution, but too often it gives room to cowardice and timidity, in the place of a kind of temerity which instead ought to be the hallmark of Christianity (the confidence, not the rudeness!).

Temerity:

Excessive boldness or confidence, audacity.
The quality of being confident and unafraid of danger or punishment esp in a way that seems (rude or) foolish.

There were people in the crowd who knew what they were hearing, and there was a stirring in their hearts – they could hear these men talking about the mighty works of God, and they were surprised and curious, maybe even excited. What was going on? There was shouting, there was rejoicing, there was excitement, a pervasive & uncontainable joy permeating the air.

And then a voice cuts in, mocking what they’d heard, an opinion that exalted itself above the knowledge of God: “bah humbug! they’re just drunken fools, they don’t know what they’re talking about…ignore them!”

Too often in my own life, I allow this doubting voice, this scoffing & mocking voice to silence me, revealing my fear of man rather than my fear & reverence for God.

But Peter, rather than silently standing aside as I seem to – as most of us do – saw and opportunity, leapt at it & redeemed it. Peter the bold stepped in and spoke. Where he had not spoken once before, now he would do his Jesus proud. Where he’d before made empty promises, now he’d truly, humbly and willingly lay down his life for his Jesus.

Peter refuted the drunkenness theory, and then, went on to explain to the gathering crowd what was really going on, what they couldn’t see but was happening right before their eyes.

Too often in the Christian world, we stand silently in front of a mocking world, and then spew vitriol behind closed doors – brothers & sisters, this should not be so!

Rather than step out of our comfort zone and take the time to explain what’s going on, we criticise, accuse and condemn the world for not understanding or accepting the word of God.nWe do not know what spirit we are of! The son of man came to save the world, not condemn it!

How shall they believe unless they have heard? And how shall they hear unless someone goes? How lovely on the mountain are the feet of him who brings good news!

And so, Peter spoke. He brought kingdom perspective, a new way of looking at what was happening before them. He spoke to the heart, to the human condition, with authority, sincerity and conviction, revealing the truth with a spirit of grace. This is what the world longs for.

Who knows if that mocking voice was among those that now cried out, “what shall we do to be saved?” And it is likely that the people who had heard the mighty works of God proclaimed in their own tongues were among the 3000 that were saved.

Though Peter failed Him before, Jesus didn’t write him off; he went on to become one of the pillars of Christianity. Jesus hasn’t written us off, either. Who knows if our biggest opportunity is hidden behind the voice of scorn, awaiting our step of faith from out of the shadows and onto the platform of history.

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Acts 2:11-18 ESV

both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”  But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: ”In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.'”

Acts 2:36 ESV

Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

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