On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all the chief priests and elders had said to them. (Acts 4:23)
Of course they went back to their own people! Don’t we all seek from each other the strength and support of the like-minded among us? How do management teams recharge and refocus together? They retreat together. What do football players do after five to seven seconds of organized chaos? They huddle up as one. Why do we join small groups? To find and to give unconditional acceptance, love and care. We crave solidarity with people who share singularity of purpose.
So after 24 hours of healing, preaching, incarceration, defense and release, Peter and John needed their own people—big-time!—and their own people needed them. But what if these two leaders began their report, only to be stymied by the group arguing over worship style (choir recital versus rock concert, or something in between)? What if the good folks appreciated John’s loving heart, but were contented only with Peter’s bold oratory? What if Peter and John sought harmony but encountered dissonance instead?
What the apostles needed from their fellow believers was maturity and unity, and fortunately for them, that’s exactly what they found. “When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord,’ they said, ‘. . . consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness’” (Acts 4:24, 29).
As in earlier times, the church today is under persecution, and persecution is no time for pettiness. Tougher times call for together teams: we must have internal union if we are to stand amid external rejection. Simply put, each of us needs the oneness of all of us. Today, let each of us resolve to lay aside all that divides us and serve as one body—one people—in Christ.
Father, you desire unity among your people. Purify my heart, that others would find in me the encouragement, support and love they need. Give me the wisdom and compassion to set aside my self-interest for the good of the entire body of Christ. In His name I pray. Amen.
[Read the Scripture for the day in Acts 4:23-31.]