God is the source of love; Christ is the proof of love; Service is the expression of love; Boldness is the outcome of love. (Source Unknown, Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author).
Here we see very vividly both the enemy’s attack and the Christian defense. It says that the Sanhedrin regarded Peter and John as unlearned and ignorant men (v. 13). The word translated “unlearned” means that they had no kind of technical education. The word translated “ignorant” means that they were laymen with no special professional qualifications. The Sanhedrin regarded them as men without a college education and with no professional status. It is often difficult for the simple man to meet what might be called academic and professional snobbery.
The Sanhedrin met to discuss what they could do with Peter and John (vv. 14-15). They recognized that since they could not deny the occurrence of the miracle, because the man was standing before them, their main problem was to keep the doctrine of the Resurrection from spreading (v. 16). They could not help but see the courage and confidence of Peter and John, as well as the power of Peter’s words; and all of this posed a dilemma for them. The council hoped to just “let the thing die a natural death,” but threatened the apostles and forbid them to teach and preach in the name of Jesus (vv. 17-18). The apostles’ reply was straight forward and simple: We must obey God and testify of what we have seen (vv. 19-20).
The religious leaders did not want the Gospel message to spread, but that is exactly what happened. From 120 praying people in Acts 1, the church had already increased to over 5,000. Satan’s attempts to silence the Christians only led to a stronger witness for the Lord. So we can picture Peter and John leaving the Sanhedrin determined to go on preaching Christ. Since the council had no real case against them, the only thing they could do was to threaten them and let them go (v. 21). After all, when you have a living miracle before you, as well as an approving public around you, you must be careful what you do! The man who was healed by this miracle was more than forty years old, and everyone was praising God for what had happened (v. 22).
Satan is still trying to silence the Christians. Sad to say, he has succeeded with far too many. All I need to do is to follow Peter’s example and make my decisions on the basis of “Is it right?” and not “Is it popular?”
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, "What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name." So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard." And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
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Acts 1:1-5Waiting for the Holy Spirit
Acts 1:6-11Commissioned to Witness Everywhere
Acts 1:12-14Unity In Prayer Among the Brethren
Acts 1:15-26Peter Leads The Prayer Meeting
Acts 2:1-13A Special Sign for the Early Church
Acts 2:14-21Peter Preaches On Prophecy
Acts 2:22-28Peter Proclaims Jesus’ Resurrection Power
Acts 2:29-36Four proofs of the Resurrection and Ascension
Acts 2:37-47Characteristics of the early Church
Acts 3:1-10A lame man healed
Acts 3:11-16Supernatural healing of the crippled man
Acts 3:17-26Peter’s Message of Repentance
Acts 4:1-12Early Church Persecuted for their Faith
Acts 4:13-22Boldness Brings Results
Acts 4:23-31Prayer Produces Unity
Acts 4:32-37Sharing Shows Brotherly-Love
Acts 5:1-11Ananias & Sapphira Hide the Truth & Suffer Consequences
Acts 5:12-16Effective Church Ministry
Acts 5:17-32Obedience to God and Man
Acts 5:33-42Gamaliel Convinces the Council – No Persecution
Acts 6:1-7Deacons Chosen To Serve
Acts 6:8-15Stephen Summoned before Synagogue Leaders
Acts 7:1-8Stephen’s Sermon–God’s Covenant of Circumcision to Abraham
Acts 7:9-19Stephen’s Sermon–Abraham’s Promised Descendents
Acts 7:20-29Stephen’s Sermon–Moses Identifies with God’s Chosen People
Acts 7:30-43Stephen’s Sermon–Moses’ Mandate From God
Acts 7:44-53Stephen’s Sermon–The Bold Conclusion!
Acts 7:54-60Stephen Stoned to Death for his Faith