Trouble With The Religious Leaders
From the last chapter, Peter healed a lame man and proclaimed that the name of Jesus gave him the authority to do so. This amazed many people, and caused a great commotion.
Having heard about this, the high priests and Sadducees arrested Peter and John for proclaiming Jesus’s resurrection from the dead. However, many heard the word and believed, numbering five thousand.
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke:
Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.Acts 4:8-12
Peter starts by sarcastically asking, “are we here because we healed a crippled man?” Then, he proceeds to explain that we are doing this in Jesus’s name. Furthermore, you rejected Jesus, the only source of man’s salvation.
The religious leaders were quite astonish by this. How could these uneducated, common men speak like this? They also had nothing to say back.
In an attempt to block Jesus’s name from spreading further, they charged Peter and John not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John protested.
Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.Acts 4:19-20
Since they are not able to find fault in Peter and John’s actions, they release Peter and John.
These religious leaders were jealous of Peter and John’s ability to influence the people. In their minds, it should be them; when it’s not, it’s a crime.
It’s ironic really—the religious leaders also are meant to glorify God. They should be happy that this is happening. However, their arrogance blinds them, and politics overtakes them.
The Believers Pray For Boldness
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.Acts 4:29-30
After they prayed, the place they in which they gathered shook, and the Holy Spirit filled them and they continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
We could all use some boldness in our lives, especially to speak the word of God. The world will always continue to suppress us with every possible mean. But we believers must not give in.
They Had Everything in Common
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.Acts 4:32
The believers all acted with one heart and shared everything together. I imagine they lived in a commune with one another back then. There was no selfish acts and no private property.
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.Acts 4:34-35
Collectively, they did not lack resources because God provides through the property owners, who sold what they owned and donated the proceeds.
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