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Acts 4 v 5 - 22

What I find particularly interesting about this passage is that it demonstrates the initial impotence of the Jewish religious authorities: having brought Peter and John before them and discovering that they were no longer frightened, uneducated in the ways of God and tongue-tied, they had no 'plan B' in how to quieten them. This was quickly going to change, but these seventy one men of great authority seemed to have no answer to the issues Peter brings up. The Sanhedrin comprised Sadducees-their desire was to keep the peace with the Romans and so to maintain their position of wealth and respectability; Pharisees-who were fanatics in all things concerning the Law; Scribes-who were experts in the traditional Law; Elders-who represented the community and were held in high esteem by the general populace. There were also those of the priestly families-ex-high priests (between 37BC and AD67, roughly 100 years there had been twenty eight high priests!)

We recognise in reading this passage how courageous these two apostles are as they stood before this great array of powerful men and proclaimed the Gospel. These men attacked Peter and John with contempt, accusations of ignorance and threats; but they defended themselves with FACTS-the man had been undeniably cured; UTTER LOYALTY TO GOD- they understood the peril they were in, but they chose God over man; PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF JESUS CHRIST-their message was first hand, not third and they were willing to stake their lives upon the truth of it!

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