Acts~4:1-22

Do you want the good news first, or the bad news? The bad news is that the authorities don’t like what Peter and John have been doing, and have arrested them. The Sadducees in particular would have been annoyed that the teaching of Jesus about the resurrection with which he embarassed them (Luke 20:27-40) had gotten louder since they put him to death. The good news is that many people believed the message of Peter and the church swelled.

In the courtroom, Peter and John are set in the midst of an intimidating group of people, and asked about what happened. Luke refers to Peter as being full of the Holy Spirit. This is surely a reference to Jesus’ promise that when his disciples were brought before “the rulers and the authorities” the Spirit would teach them “in that very hour” what to say, which Luke records in Luke 12:11-12. Luke takes the chance while recording this story to assure Theophilus that while he was in front of the leaders, the Spirit was indeed guiding him. It seems unlikely that Peter had a fresh experience of God at this point, Luke is simply refering to Peter’s continual state of being filled.

Peter reminds everyone that they are being tried purely for a good deed, and then repeats that they cucified Jesus and God raised him from the dead. As before, he goes on to make an evangelistic appeal – that there is no other way for salvation than through Jesus Christ.

The council was in an obvious tough spot, and had no real choice other than to let the apostles go and tell them to stop talking about this. It is interesting that they accept that a “notable sign” has been performed, but they still won’t believe in Jesus’ power. The apostles could have left silently, but before they left they made it clear that they would not submit to the will of the council. They were threatened more, but the people were so amazed by what God had done that threats were all they could do.

Heavenly Father, I thank you that your Holy Spirit is such an amazing source of boldness and wisdom, and that you gave him to the apostles and to me. I pray that I would trust in him and so be bold when I am under attack and that you would teach me in every situation what you want me to say. Amen.

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