December 22, 2020 – Tuesday
Acts 4:1-4 NIV
1The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.
2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.
4 But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
Those in charge had basically ignored Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, but with the results of the sermon, they were not going to be lenient this time around. As a result, priests, the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees confronted Peter and John. The priests and the captain of the temple guard were also Sadducees and Sadducees not only did not believe in the afterlife, they opposed any teaching of the resurrection of the dead.
Consequently, they greatly opposed the teaching of the resurrection of the dead by Peter and John. Plus, the Pharisees who did believe in the resurrection of the dead were opposed to Peter and John proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. Attempting to intimidate them, they arrested them and placed them in jail overnight. They would be tried by the Sanhedrin during daylight hours the next day. In arresting them they hoped also to discredit them and what they were teaching.
They were not successful in discrediting the teaching by proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. We know this as the very next verse tells us, But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. The number five thousand indicates the growth from the three thousand that came to believe at the Pentecost. This demonstrates how futile the intimidation against Peter and John was with substantially more people following Jesus.
Consider verse four, But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. There was real emphasis on how many believed. There was obviously a great response to the message of the gospel of the crucified and risen Christ. This happened in chapter three when Peter healed a lame beggar called those there to (v19) Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. They responded, repented, and chose to begin following Jesus.
When they came to trial the next day the following verses tell us what happened: 5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
They were at a loss at what to do other than telling them not to speak in the name of Jesus and threatening them, but it was not effective as, 21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank You for letting us see that God’s will, will be done in spite of those and opposition. Help us to follow You and Your Son with the help of the Holy Spirit instead of listening to any who oppose You. Thank You for all you have done and are doing in our lives. – In Jesus name we pray. Amen.