Peter and John have been boldly preaching in the temple about Jesus. This irritates some of the leaders. “And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead”(Acts 4:1-2). The Sadducees particularly hold that there is no final resurrection (see Acts 23:8) and are frustrated that Peter and John claim that someone has already risen from the dead. It probably doesn’t help that Peter has specifically accused the leaders of executing God’s king.
This is the first sign of hostility for the young church. “And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening”(Acts 4:3). They are probably not surprised since Jesus spoke so frequently about persecution and suffered because of his own teaching. What is notable is that their arrest does not keep their audience from believing their message. “But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand”(Acts 4:4). About 2000 more people come to faith in Jesus after seeing the lame man healed and his healers imprisoned.
Some time later, Paul writes that he is “bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!”(2 Tim 2:9). The more the government pushes against the Christian message, the more it grows. It cannot be chained. We need this perspective as we fear governmental changes, social shifts, and general disinterest in the gospel. The message, taught and lived with courage, will have its impact because it is from God.
------------- One Thing to Think About: Does it bother me that the message of Jesus is controversial?
One Thing to Pray For: Courage to believe and follow Jesus even when others don’t like it
This message was sent to: from
Fairview Park church of Christ, 11820 Fairview Road, Little Rock, AR 72212
If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter click to unsubscribe. Modify your Subscription