Our study through the Book Of Acts is going strong. I am truly enjoying the on-line discussions I have been able to have with many of you. If you have missed any of the chats you can catch up and take part by going to my House on Fire Page here http://wp.me/P39vIx-Gh
Now on to today’s topic.
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. Acts 4:13-21
In verse 17 the leaders of the temple commanded the apostles not to preach any more in the “name” of Jesus…that is the “onoma” of Jesus. “Onoma” means “all that the name stands for”
You see this was more than a problem with Jesus’ name; It was also a question of doctrine. It is important to note that this group warning the apostles was the Sadducees, the rulers of the temple, not the Pharisees. The Sadducees were struggling specifically with the doctrine of the resurrection because they did not believe in it. In this passage they were insisting that the RESURRECTION not be preached even though they could not deny the miracle that happened to the lame man.
As a result of this intimidation from the Temple the believers gather in prayer. Here is what they prayed:
On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one
Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:23-31
Today’s questions for discussion:
What do the disciples pray for in light of the threat from the authorities?
Would you have added or left out anything from this prayer if you had prayed it?