MIRACLE SUNDAY Acts 4:1-22
Background: Acts 3:1-11 God worked through Peter and John to heal a lame man at the temple on the Sabbath.
1. ARREST (1-3) Sadducees: Strict interpretation of Moses’ writings.
Sadducees were charge of daily temple operations.
Sadducees rejected resurrection of the body, immortality of the soul, and the existence of spirits and angels.
SANHEDRIN: Joint council of Sadducees and Pharisees.
Hypocrites: It was illegal under Jewish law to have a trial by night, though this is what they did to Jesus. Peter and John may have expected the same result, probably not but in light of John 21:18.
2. ADDITION (4) Rather than frightening people away from the message of Christ, the persecution produced more converts. Opposition did not slow the church down at all.
3. ACCUSATION (5-7) “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
In their thinking, the power rested in the name, not the Person.
4. ADMISSION (8-12) Peter is instantly filled with the Spirit again, speaking directly to the heart of the matter.
(8) The filling of the Holy Spirit Peter experienced in Acts 2:4 was not a one-time event; but something God wanted to keep doing in their lives and ours.
(9) Peter’s logic is piercing - why are we on trial for a good deed?
(10) Peter preaches Jesus, the Jesus they crucified, the Jesus God raised from the dead, the Jesus who healed this man.
(11) The ‘stone which was rejected by you builders’: Ps 118:22
(12) Peter doesn’t merely proclaim Jesus as a way of salvation, but as the only way of salvation. No other means can get anyone into Heaven.
5. ASTONISHMENT (13) Peter and John were Galilean fishermen with no formal education, but they had the one essential qualification for ministry - they had been with Jesus.
The only Jesus some see is what shines through us. We must work to show in our lives we have been with Jesus.
6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT (14-17)
(14) The formerly lame man was standing with Peter and John. Previously, this man had to be carried wherever he went, and now was completely healed.
(16) There was no denying something miraculous happened. (17) Since there was no way to explain it away, they did the only thing they could: Threaten Peter and John
(15) How did Luke find out what the Sanhedrin discussed among themselves? Since Sanhedrin Councils were secret, the only possible way was for a member of that Sanhedrin later to tell because he became a Christian.
Peter and John had no idea they were preaching to a future Apostle: Saul of Tarsus
We have no idea how God can use us!
7. ADMONITION (18-22)
(18) The council issued its admonition about not preaching the name of Jesus because they could not refute the resurrection.
(19-20) Peter and John issued their own admonition.
“Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
(21-22) Once again, the Sanhedrin threatened, but had no real way of punishing the two men, largely because they feared the people who witnessed the miracle.
What Satan meant for evil in having these men arrested turned to good.
Thousands more were saved. Peter gets to preach to council.
Sanhedrin is stymied. Apostles emboldened.
God is glorified.