Prophetic action has a way of unsettling the devout. What does the crucifixion and resurrection teach us, however, if not that God will always surprise (and upset) us? How, then, should we answer those who question us while about the Lord’s work?
A Lutheran pastor and catechist, Johann Spangenberg (1484–1550) published the Postilla Teütsch, a six-volume postil intended to prepare children for understanding the lectionary readings. Spangenberg notes that Peter, responding to the concerns of the devoutly Jewish Christians, does not match their tone. Instead, he responds to their criticisms ironically, seeking to calm their wrath while correcting their error.
What Does Peter’s Response Teach Us?
First, according to Peter’s example we are to answer the wrathful and cantankerous winsomely, amicably, and reasonably. For Solomon says,
“A lenient answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up fury.”
Second, we should let ourselves be satisfied with a friendly and humble response, especially if the matter is itself divine, useful, and salvific—even if it seems quite different to the world.
And we should not merely be content with God’s grace, but much more we should praise, worship, and give thanks in the highest to God for this.
Acts, eds. Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains, Reformation Commentary on Scripture, NT Vol. VI, pp. 121-122.
The RCS Easter Series
Week 1: What the Women Preached (Easter)
Week 2: They Are Mad Who Strive Against God’s Exalted
Week 3: Sowing by the Seashore, Reaping the Wind
Week 4: Everything Depends on Election
Week 5: How to Speak to Devout Christians
Week 6: That Which Enlarges the Miracle
Week 7: Who Benefits from the Resurrection?