Our lives are full of conflict, aren't they - families, friends, neighbours? My grandmother's funeral was very sad. Not just because my grandmother had died, but because of family conflict. Of the three daughters left of the family, my 2 aunts, and my mother, my aunts weren't talking to one another at all. They would only communicate through my mother -And Greg and I were asked to do the funeral. It was awful.
It was the persecution of the early church, the conflict that the early Christians experienced with those outside the community, which actually spread the Christian message throughout the whole known world. The early Christians died for the things they believed in. They didn't want conflict, but when faced with it, they sorted out their own motives, and priorities. They stood out for the truth, as they understood it, and very ordinary people became heroic in the face of the conflicts they encountered. This was the case with Peter and John, after the healing of the lame man in chapter 3. When called to account by the religious authorities Peter and John had choices. Their choices; to keep silent, and safe or to speak and do what they knew was right, and give Jesus the glory. The word for healing and salvation are the same word in Greek. They saw that Jesus had healed this man. But they also saw that it was only through Jesus that there could be healing for all our lives, whatever we faced in this world. They were bold after the Jewish authorities told them to keep quiet about Jesus because they recognised that the choice was between listening to these authorities, and listening to God. They knew, that in the end, they had to do what God wanted them to do.
This is what the Lordship of Christ looked like for Peter and John, in the face of conflict; in the face of persecution and possible death. I wonder, in your life today, what does the Lordship of Christ look like for you, in situations where you face conflict with others because of your faith?