for it is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”
[Acts 4:20 NET]
One of the Beatitudes is, “Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you.” The first Christians very soon had opportunity to receive this blessing. Their behaviour in persecution has its lessons for us. One is that we should give to Christ the honor of all that we do.
Another lesson is, that we should always take our commands from Christ and from no other. The apostles were bidden to speak no more in Christ’s name. Their answer was heroic: “We cannot but speak.”
We may find it hard sometimes to obey Christ – it is easier to keep silent than to speak for Him. But we have no choice if we would remain loyal to Him.
We have also here a lesson in prayer. The apostles did not pray to be delivered from suffering. They prayed that they might have power to speak the word with boldness. We should not pray to be kept from suffering, but that we may be brave and loyal in His service.