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Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin May 3, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Acts 4:1-22.

Summary: In this passage, the Jewish aristocracy arrested Peter and John – since they continued to proclaim the Gospel message to the Jewish proletariat. The Sanhedrin gathered in Jerusalem and questioned Peter and John regarding the miracle that they had just performed. Peter responded by:

  • giving glory to God
  • citing the healing power of His Son – Jesus Christ of Nazareth
  • quoting from Psalm 118:22 to spur them to repentance – as they had crucified the Son of God.

The Sanhedrin was caught in a bind, as the news of this miracle had spread throughout Jerusalem – yet they did not want to legitimize the Gospel message. They ordered Peter and John to refrain from preaching the Gospel message – yet the apostles continued to obey God and acknowledge His sovereignty in this matter. Moreover, many Jews gave glory to God for this miracle and received the Holy Spirit.

Thoughts: In verse 11, we see that Peter quotes from Psalm 118:22 to illustrate the supremacy of Jesus Christ of Nazareth – even though He was rejected by the Jewish aristocracy. This reminds me that Peter quotes from the same passage in his first epistle – highlighting the fact that after he received the Holy Spirit, he yielded his entire life to the supremacy of Christ. Formerly, Peter was driven by worldly desires, including political grandeur and competition with the other apostles – yet the Holy Spirit drove away those desires and replaced them with subservience. I do pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to effect a similar change in my life.

In verses 19 and 20, we see Peter and John declaring their ultimate allegiance to God Himself – not to the Jewish aristocracy. This reminds me of the oft-persecuted Shouwang Church in Beijing. I remember that during one Sunday service, one of the former pastors at my old church made a Skype call to one of the Shouwang Church members. The Shouwang Church member was at home; he noted that the police were watching him and preventing him – and other church members – from attending Sunday services. He also noted that the government had repeatedly blocked the church’s attempts to purchase a building that could serve as their worship center. The Shouwang Church member appeared to be in good spirits, though, and he repeatedly gave glory to God. Indeed, it is amazing that believers who are subject to state-sponsored persecution continue to disobey their political leaders in order to worship God; I pray that their actions would encourage other believers in First World countries.

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