4:1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
Do you believe everything you hear? None of us do. When Peter spoke to the crowd at the temple we are told many believed what he said about Jesus bringing the total from around 3000 to around 5000 new believers. However if only "many" believed that means at least "some" did not.
Strange isn't it? What caused some to believe and some to walk away when they all saw and heard the same thing? Or could it be that they all knew it was true but only some acted on it? When the Bible talks about belief it isn't talking about mental agreement, it's talking about action. People who believe take action that affirms they actually believe.
We live in a culture where believing requires no action. I can profess to believe anything. We also live in a culture where beliefs have no consequences. I won't be arrested for my beliefs no matter what they are... right?
The crowd believed Peter, at least most of them did and then they watched he and John be arrested. They had to know that if it was happening to Peter and John it could happen to them as well yet they believed anyway.
My beliefs may not all be popular with everyone but they have never cost me more than a rude comment or being blocked by some who don't share my beliefs and don't want to hear about them. In other words my beliefs have never had much pressure applied to them. ISIS isn't at my door. I'm not living in North Korea.
Last night my son had baseball practice. The coach had a radar gun so the kids could see how fast the ball travels when they throw it. I have never had my pitch speed tested or measured. Turns out I can't throw as hard as I imagined I could. When my pitch was put to the test it came up short or at least slow.
I live in a culture where my beliefs are becoming less popular. I am just wondering this morning how they will hold up under pressure should the circumstance ever arise...