Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 4 (Lesson 4) by clicking here.
Read and meditate on Acts 4.13-17.
I supposed I’d be amazed, too. These men were Galileans, for crying out loud! Fishermen, not theologians, like these judges! “Where do they get off preaching to us! After all, their only ‘credentials’, such as they were, were that they had been with…but let’s not go there.”
1. Look at the evidence! A healed man standing there. Two fishermen boldly taking on the religious leaders of the day. A “notable miracle”, indeed! But of what? What were these judges missing here? Why?
2. The apostles are dismissed while the leaders deliberate. But they only deliberate about one thing: This has got to stop! Didn’t they care that others might also be healed? Didn’t they want to hear a bit more about this Jesus from those who’d known Him? No. No, they did not. They wanted all this to stop. Now. How should churches prepare for the opposition they might expect from the surrounding culture, as they go forth to sign the Kingdom of God?
3. So the religious leaders make an epic decision: “Let’s tell them to stop preaching.” See what I mean about comical? This is utterly laughable to think that the words and threats of mere men could keep the Gospel from going forward. Well, it was in Peter and John’s day, anyway. What about today?
4. Does being with Jesus make a difference? By being with Him we actually participate in Him, in His presence and glory, and there we are transformed, as Peter and John were, by the Spirit of God working with the Word of God in our lives (2 Cor. 3.12-18). Nothing can substitute for being with Jesus if we are to be faithful witnesses to His resurrection. What does it mean for you to be with Jesus? Does your being with Jesus have the same kind of effects on you?
5. Would you describe your time of Scripture reading and prayer as “being with Jesus”? Why or why not? Is your time with Jesus fitting you to be a bold ambassador for Christ and His Kingdom?
The religious leaders are completely flummoxed at the courage and conviction of Peter and John. Yet, in spite of the miracle and the bold preaching, they determine to try to contain the threat to their authority and status. Should we expect similar responses today? Explain.
When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us,
And we are glad.
T. M. Moore
Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies Acts.
Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. For more insight to His work in our here and now, order the book, The Kingship of Jesus, from our online store by clicking here.
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