Amazing! I’ve heard this statement made many times in the past few years in government, education and just about every other public place. This Bible study talks about how Peter and John are arrested for sharing Christ — And, it’s still going on today!
The lesson comes from verse 18 in Acts and I quote:
“And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.”
This is a story of true belief and courage as you’ll read below. .
Peter and John — Arrested for Sharing Christ in Acts
As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening.
But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent.
When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead — by this name this man stands here before you in good health.
He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone.
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.
And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.
But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men?
For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.”
And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened; for the man was more than forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed. – Acts 4:1-22 NASB
Jailed for Preaching the Resurrection – The Sadducees
There were most likely several religious leaders present during the sharing of Christ by John and Peter.
The group I want to focus on is the Sadducees as they were probably the most intimidated by these teachings.
Peter and John were telling the crowd about the resurrection of Christ. And, they performed a great miracle (the crippled beggar) which gave credence to their story.
Why the Sadducees?
First of all, the Sadducees represented a powerful group in the Synagogue. And, this group did not believe in the dead’s resurrection.
So, the message Peter and John preached discounted their fundamental belief.
With that said, these teachings about Jesus could have caused great harm to their control over the people. And, it affected the money which came with it.
Assuming Risk – John Nor Peter were Afraid
In this Scripture reading, we find that the apostles feared no one, even when arrested.
In fact, they served a night in jail for sharing their message of salvation.
After Jesus returned from the dead to be with them, these two had no doubt of His identity. So, they were unable to keep quiet about the true Savior.
In fact, the Bible says in Luke 19:40:
“But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!’”
God’s will cannot lie dormant!
How Many Does It Take? 5,000? 10,000?
At the beginning of this passage, we see that around 5,000 men heard and believed the message from Peter and John. With that said, I’m sure this filtered to legions of women also.
So, the question for today is;
How many people coming to Christ will it take for us to be willing to face a night in jail?
Persecution Throughout the World
In the United States, we most likely will not face that punishment (at least not today).
But, many throughout the world, like Pastor Saeed in Iran are held in prison without hope of release simply for sharing the Word.
So, if you could share, knowing that 5,000 people would come to Christ, here’s the question. Would you be willing to go to jail for a day or two?
How about if it was only one person who accepted?
In reality, the point is clear. We can be more courageous in sharing what we know is the truth, even when it costs us.
Truthfully, we meet people everyday who desperately need the love of Christ.
But, we are afraid of rejection so we keep quiet.
Just remember that God takes every opportunity to bring people to Him and our words to others are never a waste if we are sharing for the benefit of others – and Him.
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read this.
Thank you for studying Scripture about how Peter and John were arrested for their faith. I hope this Bible lesson inspires you (and I) to use boldness when opportunity comes. Remember, we could be the only voice that one person hears!