Acts 5 v 12 - 16

These verses give the reader a neat summing up of what the First Church was like: 1. It tells us where the Church met: Solomon's colonnade, which was one of the two great colonnades which surrounded the Temple area. Again, we can note that at this stage they were not experiencing persecution generally and so they felt free to meet in the heart of Jewish worship. 2. It also tells us that numbers were not huge. Yes, there would have been several hundred coming together, but the Church had not spread to areas outside Jerusalem yet. 3. It also tells us HOW the Church met. One of the advantages in meeting at the Temple was that they could be seen to be gathering in the open: this prevented the accusation that they were a secret society and also hindered their arrest by the Jewish religious authorities. 3. However, this passage demonstrates how effective they were in healing-which was at the forefront of the work of the Church-and there were many who were healed in the name of Jesus. This wasn't a 'trial and error' attempt at transforming the lives of the sick, blind and lame, but was so effective that many brought those struggling with health issues to be healed by the apostles. 4. It reveals to the reader of the reasons why persecution arrives, firstly from the Jewish religious authorities and then the Romans. If the Christian sect had remained small and ineffectual, then it would have been allowed to continue. It was because it grew so rapidly, brought chaos in the streets and at the Temple due to the number of those being brought for healing and transformed peoples' lives. Imagine roads crammed with the sick and disabled being brought to the Church's meeting place! For the Jewish religious authorities this could not freely be allowed to continue!


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