Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers…
No doubt it is a high and difficult task to preach with success; far be it from us to teach that no pains should be used to gain men's ears; but the preacher who gains their ears should use his conquest to reach their consciences — and it is his business to give them pain. They are sinners, and they know it, even better than the preacher. He will not become their enemy by telling them the truth, and so telling it that their ears will tingle with shame and their consciences cry out with remorse. At all events, enemies made in that way may become the preacher's best friend; and if they do not, they will carry his credentials as stigmata burnt into their memories. A man riding with his friend past a country church fell to musing with himself, and presently said: "In that house, thirty years ago, I passed the most uncomfortable hour of my life. It seems but yesterday, and my pain seems as keen as it was then." The other laughed and said: "I suppose it was some coquettish maiden." "No. It was an honest preacher who got hold of my very soul." Such memories in the hearts of sinners are the best credentials they can give to preachers of the gospel.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?