Thursday 05 May 2011

Bible Book:

"We are witnesses to these things" (v. 32)

Acts 5:27-33 Thursday 5 May 2011


In today's passage, which takes place before the Sanhedrin, wesee a double foundation for the authority's anger. Not only werethe high priests and the sadducees blamed for the murder of Christand found a volatile Jerusalem beginning to grow hostile, they werealso bitterly opposed to the teaching of the resurrection. Yet incontempt of court and in defiance of its authority, the Apostleshad effectively "filled Jerusalem" (v. 28) with their teaching. Itis interesting that the high priest avoids mentioning the name ofJesus by saying "this man" (v. 28).

The Apostles' response took the form of a mini sermon. It'sremarkable that their main concern was not to defend themselves butto lift up Christ and, in a principle of civil and ecclesiasticaldisobedience, say "we must obey God rather than any humanauthority" (v. 29).

There are three main points to this mini sermon:

  • "The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead, whom youkilled by hanging him on a cross" (v. 30). It is the familiarcontrast you killed him, God raised him.
  • "God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour" (v.31). This is powerful - a crucified man has been exalted by God tobe the one who gives "repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins"(v. 31)!
  • The Apostles were witnesses of the death and resurrection ofJesus. But they were not only eye witnesses; they felt compelled totell other people what had happened.

Hearing these words the reaction of the council wasunderstandably one of fury. The Apostles had touched a raw nerveand the council were of a mind to have the Apostles put to death,just as they had disposed of Jesus.


To Ponder

Do you find the name of Jesus causes offencetoday? Where and in what way?

What kind of witness are you in the face ofcriticism?

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