Seen and Heard

“We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”

 

You could say that the phrase in Acts 4:19 is “we have no dynamite”. The Greek word, dynamos, means “power”. It’s the word where we got “dynamite”. “We can’t stop this.” “We are not able.” You don’t get it, Peter told them. “We are not able to stop” We can not stop telling what we have seen and heard. We have no dynamite within us, no power, no conceivable means to halt this movement.”

I wonder if this one simple sentiment wraps up the entire problem with the expression of faith in Western Christianity… and why we are struggling to pass faith and the passionate leadership of faith to the next generation? The problem just might be the simple concept that we are able to stop telling about what we have seen and heard. Much of our faith in Western culture is not an overflowing river. As a result, younger generations have been inheriting a faith that exists, but only as a trickle. It is easily contained. It is easily substituted for other adventures or lazy screen-times. That Jesus is alive today is not easily evident in the overflow of life of believers. No wonder the raw hit-or-miss middle schooler is uninterested in how Jesus can be the center of their lives. They have not seen or heard anything fascinating… and so their faith, like their parent’s faith, is easily suppressed and discarded to the bottom of the heap.

Not so for Peter and John…

Where did they get their fervor? Well let’s walk back through their journey for a moment…

Acts 2:2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven…

Acts 2:3 Then, what looked like flames…

Acts 2:6 When they heard the loud noise… they were bewildered to hear

Acts 2:8 … we hear them speaking…

Acts 2:11 And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!

Acts 2:14 “Listen carefully, all of you…

Acts 2:16 … what you see was predicted long ago…

Acts 2:17 In the last days… Your young men will see visions…

Acts 2:25 I see that the Lord is always with me…

Acts 2:26 … my tongue shouts his praises…

Acts 2:31 … David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection…

Acts 2:32 … we are all witnesses of this…

Acts 2:33 … just as you see and hear today…

Acts 3:3 When he saw Peter and John…

Acts 3:4 Peter and John looked at him intently…

Acts 3:4 Peter said, “Look at us!”

Acts 3:5 The lame man looked at them eagerly…

Acts 3:9 All the people saw him walking…

Acts 3:9 … and heard him praising God…

Acts 3:10 … they had seen so often…

Acts 3:12 Peter saw his opportunity…

Acts 3:15 … we are witnesses of this…

Acts 4:4 … many of the people who heard their message believed it…

Acts 4:13 … [they] were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John…

Acts 4:13 … for they could see that they were ordinary men…

seen and heard - 5Acts 4:13 They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:14 … since they could see the man who had been healed…

Which brings us again to Acts 4:20 – We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.

I’m praying for a generation who will not stop sharing what they have seen and heard about Jesus so that a new generation will not be able to escape seeing and hearing about who Jesus is and what he does. It is too easy for them to not see and hear today. We need a new Deuteronomy 6:4-9, where every aspect of their lives is saturated in the practice of seeing and hearing. May this be true…

 

 

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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