Read thru New Testament Devotional – June 19, 2017

June 19

 

Acts 4:1-22

Acts 4:1-14-While they are still speaking representatives of the Jewish leadership arrived.  Notice that this group includes “the captain of the temple guard” and “Sadducees”.

 

Ryrie Study Bible, 4:1 the captain of the temple guard.  An official second only to the high priest.  He was responsible for order in the temple.  The Sadducees hated the idea of resurrection which the apostles were preaching (v. 2).

 

Peter and John are jailed because they were preaching that Jesus had risen from the dead.  Many of those who had heard them preach were saved...and their number grew to about 5,000 (:4).  The next day, they were brought before the high priests for questioning and were asked, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?" (:7).  Peter told them that it had been accomplished by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene...that they had crucified, but that God had raised from the dead. He quotes an Old Testament passage (Psalm 118:22) and says that it had predicted their actions.  In doing this, he turned the focus of the interrogation from being on them to being on the Jewish leaders.  From what he has just said they are the real guilty party…and certainly the fact that after they had murdered Jesus, God raised Him back to life from the dead, was all the evidence needed to convict them.  The resurrection was proof that they had acted against God’s will.  Finally, he tells them that there is salvation in no one else.  The priests were amazed as they listened to Peter speak with such confidence (certainty of the truth of what he was saying) because they knew that he had no formal religious education (he had never been to one of their rabbinic schools, nor was he a professional scholar or ordained teacher).  But, as they listened to the apostles speak, they began to realize where they had received such profound knowledge…they had been with Jesus (:13).  On top of that, they couldn't very well argue with what they were saying since the lame man who had been healed was standing right beside them.

Acts 4:15-22-The religious leaders sent them outside while they debated about what to do.  They could not deny that a miracle had taken place…too many people had seen it happen and were already talking about it all over Jerusalem.  So, they decided to just shut them down…and tell them to not speak any more in the name of Jesus.  Peter told them that they would have to decide for themselves whether it was more important to listen to God, than to them.  And then he added, "we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard" (:20).  After making a few additional threats towards them, the Jewish leaders released them.

Prayer: Lord, please give me the conviction and confidence of Peter and John.  Help me to stand strong and faithful for You no matter what the situation or the consequences.  And Lord, fill my life with Your presence to the degree that people will begin to recognize that I have been with You!

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