Welcome Home – 40 Day Fast Devotion #12

The Cross Comes Before the Crown

Matt Destry – Communications Pastor


Acts 4:3

They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put then
in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed,
and the number of men grew to about five thousand.


There is a Mexican proverb that states: “They tried to bury us. They
didn’t know we were seeds”. This revolutionary statement may well be
applied to the beginning of the persecution of the Christian church,
finding it’s first expression here in Acts 4. The proverbs articulates
the truth that the more you seek to suppress someone, the more they
flourish and grow. This is certainly true of the movement we now call

Peter and John have seen a crippled man healed, the man has leapt into
the temple to worship, a crowd has been gathered, and Peter has
preached the good news to them. This certainly disturbs the Jewish
religious authority, who would seek to again quash this movement of
disciples following after a crucified Messiah. The Pharisees and
Jewish rulers were full of fear: their tightly guarded religious and
social system was being threatened by this upstart movement of
Spirit-inspired God-worshipers. So the disciples are captured.

Because it was unlawful to try a prisoner in the evening (a law that
was conveniently ‘forgotten’ during the trial of Jesus), Peter and
John are held in custody overnight. At the very same time, we find our
proverb rings true: as the disciples are arrested, many more people
come to faith in Jesus.

We can expect some opposition when we begin to share the good news
about Jesus. We can expect some people to not be at all excited about
what we have to share. It challenges them to the core and brings
insecurities to the surface. What we must understand is that this
opposition will never stop the expansion of the Kingdom of God. The
Kingdom will continue to advance, in all weather. The gates of hell
will not prevail. So be bold, confident, and know that even should
things be difficult for you, it is not an indication of your
effectiveness for the gospel. You are a seed, and a seed in the ground
bears much fruit.