I was reading this morning in Acts chapter 4, where Peter and John are called in to see the top Jewish religious leaders—the ones who had their master put to death—to explain themselves for preaching in Jesus’ name. Two things stood out to me.
First, it says in verse 8 that Peter responded while “filled with the Holy Spirit.” In the world today, it can be hard to know whether people are really speaking from God or from themselves, but here the Bible definitively says that these words were from God. My heart leaned forward to see just how the Holy Spirit would sound and what I noticed was how bold and confident Peter was. If it were me, I’d be trying to persuade and convince these—my spiritual supervisors—to agree with what I’m doing, or to at least not see it as something causing trouble that they should try to stop. Not Peter! He talks to them with the kind of authority my kids use when they’re delivering a message to each other that starts with “Dad says…” Peter makes no apologies or compromises. He’s following orders from higher up the chain of authority.
The other thing that stands out is that the rulers made note that Peter and John had spent time with Jesus. That, I believe, is what we each need to focus on for ourselves so that we can be used by God like they were.