THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
COMMISSIONED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL – 9
May 2, 2019
Today’s reading: Acts 5:27-33
Once again, in the incident of the apostles being brought
before the Sanhedrin, we see the preaching of the gospel in
concise form. Our CLS gives the same basic message, providing
the same basic elements, and its being given even in just
one day is sufficient. Though a longer time is better, we
take whatever opportunity is afforded as, just as in the case
of the apostles with the Sanhedrin.
#1: Jesus the Messiah. “The God of our ancestors
raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him
on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as leader
and savior” (v.30-31a).
#2: Called to Witness. “We are witnesses of these
#3: Repentance and Faith. “…. to grant Israel
repentance and forgiveness of sins.” (v.31b).
#4: The Gift of the Holy Spirit. “…. as is
the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.”
Now in this particular incident, it is important to realize
two basic things.
One, we proclaim the gospel in obedience to the commission
given by Jesus himself. The Sanhedrin, composed of the religious
leaders at the time, had told them, “We gave you strict
orders to stop teaching in that name.” (v.28a). Peter
and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than
men.” (v.29). If our Church is losing her missionary
fervor, we must be the ones to go on proclaiming the gospel.
If those who lead us in the Church say we must focus on immigration
or climate change or social justice issues rather than confronting
sexual immorality, we must look to Jesus’ and the Church’s
age-old teachings rather than the modernist views of many
today, including clerics. We are servants of the Lord Jesus,
and soldiers in the army of the Spirit. We obey God rather
there will always be opposition when we proclaim the gospel.
With opposition comes oppression and persecution. “When
they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put
them to death.” (v.33). The powers-that-be today are
persecuting Christians all over the world, even in so-called
Christian nations. What Christians face is martyrdom in such
places as the Middle East, India and Africa, and suppression
in such places as the Western world. But this was the lot
of Jesus, his apostles and disciples, and the Church throughout
the centuries. It is part and parcel of the life and witness
of an authentic Christian.
world will oppose and persecute us, as we hear from them,
“Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching”
(v.28b). Let us proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus
not just in Jerusalem, not just in Judea and Samaria, but
to the ends of the earth.