God’s Word of Spiritual Renewal
Acts 4:1-22: Peter and John are arrested for teaching about Jesus and his resurrection, and they are questioned by the religious leaders. The Council warns them to stop preaching about Jesus and then sets them free.
“Jesus is the one of whom the scripture says, ‘The stone that you the builders despised turned out to be the most important of all.’”
Peter and John before the Council
1Peter and John were still speaking to the people when some priests, the officer in charge of the Temple guards, and some Sadducees arrived. 2They were annoyed because the two apostles were teaching the people that Jesus had risen from death, which proved that the dead will rise to life. 3So they arrested them and put them in jail until the next day, since it was already late. 4But many who heard the message believed; and the number grew to about five thousand.
5The next day the Jewish leaders, the elders, and the teachers of the Law gathered in Jerusalem. 6They met with the High Priest Annas and with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the others who belonged to the High Priest's family. 7They made the apostles stand before them and asked them, “How did you do this? What power do you have or whose name did you use?”
8Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, answered them, “Leaders of the people and elders: 9if we are being questioned today about the good deed done to the lame man and how he was healed, 10then you should all know, and all the people of Israel should know, that this man stands here before you completely well through the power of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth—whom you crucified and whom God raised from death. 11 Jesus is the one of whom the scripture says,
‘The stone that you the builders despised
turned out to be the most important of all.’
12Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.”
13The members of the Council were amazed to see how bold Peter and John were and to learn that they were ordinary men of no education. They realized then that they had been companions of Jesus. 14But there was nothing that they could say, because they saw the man who had been healed standing there with Peter and John. 15So they told them to leave the Council room, and then they started discussing among themselves. 16“What shall we do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone in Jerusalem knows that this extraordinary miracle has been performed by them, and we cannot deny it. 17But to keep this matter from spreading any further among the people, let us warn these men never again to speak to anyone in the name of Jesus.”
18So they called them back in and told them that under no condition were they to speak or to teach in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered them, “You yourselves judge which is right in God's sight—to obey you or to obey God. 20For we cannot stop speaking of what we ourselves have seen and heard.” 21So the Council warned them even more strongly and then set them free. They saw that it was impossible to punish them, because the people were all praising God for what had happened. 22The man on whom this miracle of healing had been performed was over forty years old.
How did Peter and John defend themselves? Why were they warned not to speak about Jesus? Have you ever experienced a time when you had to defend your beliefs in the face of opposition? How does God empower you when you face such challenges?
Almighty God, by the power of your Holy Spirit, teach me to speak your Word of truth. I will speak about Jesus because __________________________________. Amen.
Those facing opposition because of their faith in Jesus
Acts 4:23-37: The believers pray for boldness.