Tuesday 21 April 2015

Bible Book:

“There is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.” (v. 12)

Acts 4:1-12 Tuesday 21 April 2015

Psalm: Psalm 141:1-5


Today's passage carries on from yesterday. Such was the stir caused by Peter and John that theTemple authorities arrived on the scene to see what was going on.The Temple had its own police force, the Temple Guard. The captainof this force would want to make sure that a riot wasn't about tobreak out.

The high priest, priests and captain of the Temple Guard camefrom one of the high-priestly families belonging to the group knownas the Sadducees. They were a very powerful group. They did notbelieve in bodily resurrection and so would have objected toPeter's teaching, as well as the fact that he was teaching atall.

The Sadducees collaborated with the Romans and so were able tokeep their power. Consequently they were keen to keep the statusquo which worked so well for them.

The miracle, and Peter's preaching, convinced many to becomebelievers and so the two disciples were arrested and jailed (verses1-4).

In the morning they were questioned by the main Jewish Council,this was also dominated by the Sadducees but included other groupstoo. The Council didn't attempt to deny the miracle itself, whatthey wanted to know was by "what name" (v. 7) the miracle had beenperformed, that is 'by whose authority'. Their interest is in thepower that Peter and John appeared to have -  and which maythreaten their own power.

Filled by the Holy Spirit, Peter seized the opportunity towitness to them about Jesus, despite their hostility.

Peter quotes from Psalm118:22, saying that Jesus is the cornerstone. Peter meant thatGod had sent his chosen one, Jesus, as he had promised in theHebrew Scriptures, but that they had failed to recognise him andhad put him to death. Yet this had not been the end because God hadraised Jesus from the dead and through his name, and faith in hisname, people can be healed. The healing, or saving, is bothphysical and spiritual.

To Ponder

  • Many Christians are in prison today, and many others are atrisk of imprisonment, for sharing their faith. How can you showsupport to yur sisters and brothers in these situations?
  • When you look to God for healing to what extent are you alwayslooking for both physical healing and spiritual healing?
  • How do you cope when God does not heal someone or a situationin the way that you wanted? How does this impact your faith?

Bible notes' author: The Revd Ros Watson

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