Scattered but Not Silent
The martyrdom of Stephen in Acts chapter 7 is a turning point in the life of the early church. Until then, almost all of the gospel activity had taken place in the city of Jerusalem. If you recall from some of the final words of Jesus, Jesus commanded the disciples to preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth. That command begins to be fulfilled now. In Acts 8 we read this in the beginning of the chapter: 8 Now Saul was consenting to his death.
At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Saul consented to the death of Stephen and Saul, who in the next chapter is converted to Christ, is at this time leading the effort to persecute the followers of Jesus. But in verse 1 we read that the followers of Jesus were scattered through Judea and Samaria, just as Jesus predicted.
Now for the main point. As they were scattered, they were not silent. We might expect them to keep their mouths shut about this new Jesus guy. Their witness of Jesus had cost them their homes, their freedom and for some, their lives. But they were not silent. The very next verse says, “4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. The people preached the word about Jesus. It didn’t matter that this word about Jesus had cost them everything this world had to offer. They could not keep silent. They were scattered but they were not silent. How about you? When is the last time you talked to someone about Jesus? When is the last time you shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with someone, asking them to consider the claims of the gospel on their life? And we aren’t even being scattered, are we? We are comfortable in our own homes and communities and yet many followers of Jesus, perhaps even the vast majority of us, are silent when it comes to sharing the gospel. I encourage you to be silent no longer. If you don’t know what to say, please message me and I will help you.