Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd.
Finding Your Voice
On December 5, 1955, 26-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. received a shock. He and others had gathered to prepare for a first-of-its-kind mass meeting. The meeting was to address the overt racism that existed in their city’s policies. Dr. King had no interest in serving as a leader in this effort. He just wanted to attend. But less than an hour before the meeting began, the group, to his dismay, chose him to make a speech.
He had 20 minutes to prepare. He later said he wasted five of those twenty minutes having a panic attack. Then he had to fight traffic. Then he had to struggle through the crowd of thousands. Finally, at 7:30 P.M., with only a few notes, Martin Luther King, Jr. began to speak. The packed hall listened. The rest is history. Martin Luther King, Jr. had found his voice.
Ten days after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, the apostle Peter stood up to address a crowd in Jerusalem. Up to this point, Peter’s reputation for courage under pressure was sketchy at best. But things had happened—extraordinary things. For one, the promised Holy Spirit had filled Peter with courage through the power of the gospel. For another, Peter’s crucified and buried Lord had risen from the dead. So when Peter stood up to speak, he spoke with real bravery. Thanks to the resurrection of Jesus and the sending of the Holy Spirit, Peter had found his voice.
In our sinful weaknesses, you and I can often wince and cower at the thought of speaking to someone else about Jesus. But things have happened—extraordinary things. For one, the promised Holy Spirit has come to fill us with courage through the power of the gospel. And for another, our crucified and buried Lord has risen from the dead.
You and I may never be a Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking to thousands in a single speech. You and I may never be a Peter, speaking boldly to people who had called for Jesus’ crucifixion. But the Lord can move you to speak to another soul about Jesus. In him, you can find your voice.
Lord Jesus, you’ve washed me clean. You’ve risen from death. Empower me to find my voice. Amen.