And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. — Acts 5: 42
We follow the example set by the Apostles, and preach and teach the gospel.
The Apostles had been arrested and questioned by the Sanhedrin for preaching about Jesus Christ. They refused to be intimidated into silence by public pressure or by beating. On the contrary, they were compelled by what lived in them, namely the Holy Spirit, and continued to preach and teach.
A preacher is a herald, someone who proclaims news.
The Apostles proclaimed what they had seen and heard: Christ’s life, His death, His resurrection, and the promise of His imminent return. In Acts 4: 20 both Peter and John say that they cannot but speak what they have seen and heard.
Today also, like then, the Apostles proclaim the gospel and the imminent return of Christ. What a beautiful moment when we are heralded with the message: “Your sins are forgiven. The peace of the Risen One abide with you!” The grace of our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, is proclaimed in every divine service.
Proclamation is more than just an announcement of words and is not only done from behind the altar. Our lives are to become a proclamation of what our heavenly Father has done, does, and will do. When we eat of His body and drink of His blood, we proclaim the Lord’s death until His return.
This is to show something or to explain how to do something. Through the activity of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles teach Christ’s doctrine and the gospel of the New Testament.
We can teach through example and word. The words we say, the various actions of love—and also that which we refrain from doing—can serve as a teaching to those around us.
We can only teach something that we know and have understood. If we integrate the teachings of Christ into our own lives, we become better teachers.
In the temple and in every house
The Apostles had the audacity to continue preaching and teaching in the temple, the central place of Jewish worship. We should be aware of the fact that wherever we find ourselves there are those around us who can learn of Jesus Christ through our actions and words.
We receive preaching and teaching primarily in God’s house, but no place should be excluded, whether it is in our own house or that of our neighbour.
Daily and unceasingly
In verse 41 we learn that the Apostles left their interrogation and punishment “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name”. The fact that they had a negative experience did not hinder them from continuing to speak about Jesus. Neither trying times nor sorrow nor injustice deter us from proclaiming the gospel in word and deed.
* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for the divine service held on 29 May 2016 at Midrand Congregation.