-The religious leaders again, as when Jesus was among them, came to the apostles and were greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus’ Name, and preaching the resurrection from the dead. They put them in jail for this proclamation until the next day, but many had believed in their message (5,000 in fact). The next day they examined them as to what power and name they were doing their work (Acts 4:1-4).
-Peter, being filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed these rulers, elders, and scribes including the high priest and all who were of high-priestly descent as a servant of Jesus Christ, the Stone which was rejected yet became the Cornerstone. He proclaimed that there was no other Name under Heaven given to humanity by which men may be saved. These uneducated and untrained men were amazing the religious leaders by their confidence and power, and they had nothing to say in reply (Acts 4:5-14).
-The Council conferred with one another and had a difficult time trying to figure out what to do with them because a noteworthy miracle had taken place that was apparent to all who lived in Jerusalem. They determined to command them not to speak or teach any more in the Name of Jesus, but Peter and John told them that they could not stop speaking about what they had seen and heard (Acts 4:15-22). *Application* What about your life and your convictions? Do you fear God over man? In situations like these that we see here it would have been convenient to repudiate their convictions and dismiss the whole thing. The proof of the resurrection is right here in the text. They could not back down. If the resurrection had been a lie, exposure would have quickly come through this persecution. However, they had seen and heard the Risen Savior and would not denounce Him. This should be the same with us in our witness and testimony every day.
-They were released and rejoiced with holy praise. The Holy Spirit came again when they prayed together with a great shaking of that place and they were filled with renewed boldness to speak the Word of God. Confidence was gained through this whole episode. God’s healing Hand was upon His servants, and signs and wonders were taking place through the Name of Jesus Christ. The church was growing steadily and all had a giving spirit holding all things in common with a unified mind in Christ. They also had great power and abundant grace was upon them all as they were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 4:23-35).
-Now Barnabas, the “Son of Encouragement,” who was also known as Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, is introduced in the narrative. He owned a tract of land, sold it, and brought his proceeds of the money to lay at the apostles’ feet (Acts 4:36-37). This is simply a descriptive example of the generosity that was becoming more and more evident in the fledgling church of called out, Holy Spirit filled, saints.
-*Application* Sharing among believers should be a distinctive mark among us as Christians. We should do good to one another anytime there is a need, especially in the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). God has given us all so much through His Son and Holy Spirit. Let’s be quick to send out what we have to others in appreciation and thankfulness. Let blessings abound and comradery be built.
Verses to Memorize: 4:11-12, 31