19 But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20 We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” — Acts 4:19
The council meeting in Jerusalem consisted of all the rulers, elders and teachers of religious law. It also included the high priest and several of his relatives. They wanted to discredit Peter and John but the miracle of healing the lame man had been seen by too many and was too well known. They would have preferred some harsh form of punishment but they were afraid that any such action would start a riot. So, they decided to just command them to stop talking about Jesus and never to speak to anyone again in the name of Jesus. After telling Peter and John this and warning them of more harsh punishment in the future, they dismissed them. Peter and John told them they could not stop talking about everything they had seen and heard. As soon as they were dismissed, they returned to the other believers and told them the whole story. As soon as they had heard the story, all the believers lifted their voices and began to pray. They asked God for boldness to preach His Word and that the preaching of the Word would be confirmed with miracles, signs and wonders. When they had finished praying, the building where the meeting was taking place shook and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. They went forth and preached the Word with boldness.
When we are rebuked or offended because we mentioned Jesus, what do we do? Do we react with anger and unkind words or do we pray and respond with the love of Jesus? If we take the time to whisper or even just think a prayer, the Holy Spirit will guide us, giving us the Words to speak and the boldness to speak those words.