Acts 4:1-37 Trouble begins almost immediately…

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A WORD IN YOUR EAR 

Acts 4:1-37 Trouble for disciples begins

4 The apostles were still talking to the people, when some priests, the captain of the temple guard, and some Sadducees arrived. 2 These men were angry because the apostles were teaching the people that the dead would be raised from death, just as Jesus had been raised from death. 3 It was already late in the afternoon, and they arrested Peter and John and put them in jail for the night. 4 But a lot of people who had heard the message believed it. So by now there were about 5,000 followers of the Lord.

5 The next morning the leaders, the elders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses met in Jerusalem. 6 The high priest Annas was there, as well as Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other members of the high priest’s family. 7 They brought in Peter and John and made them stand in the middle while they questioned them. They asked, 

“By what power and in whose name have you done this?”

8 Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and told the nation’s leaders and the elders:

9 You are questioning us today about a kind deed in which a man who could not walk was healed. 10 But there is something we must tell you and everyone else in Israel. This man is standing here completely well because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You put Jesus to death on a cross, but God raised him to life. 11  He is the stone you builders thought was worthless, and now he is the most important stone of all. 12 Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.

13 The officials were amazed to see how brave Peter and John were, and they knew that these two apostles were only ordinary men and not well educated. The officials were certain these men had been with Jesus. 14 But they could not deny what had happened. The man who had been healed was standing there with the apostles.

15 The officials commanded them to leave the council room. Then the officials said to each other, 

16 “What can we do with these men? Everyone in Jerusalem knows about this miracle, and we cannot say it didn’t happen. 17 But to keep this thing from spreading, we will warn them never again to speak to anyone about the name of Jesus.” 

18 So they called the two apostles back in and told them they must never, for any reason, teach anything about the name of Jesus.

19 Peter and John answered, 

“Do you think God wants us to obey you or to obey him? 20 We cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.”

21-22 The officials could not find any reason to punish Peter and John. So they threatened them and let them go. The man who was healed by this miracle was more than 40 years old, and everyone was praising God for what had happened.

Peter and Others Pray for Courage

23 As soon as Peter and John had been set free, they went back and told the others everything the chief priests and the leaders had said to them. 24  When the rest of the Lord’s followers heard this, they prayed together and said:

Master, you created heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. 25  And by the Holy Spirit you spoke to our ancestor David. He was your servant, and you told him to say:

“Why are all the Gentiles
    so furious?
Why do people
    make foolish plans?

26 The kings of earth
    prepare for war,
and the rulers
    join together
against the Lord
    and his Messiah.”

27  Here in Jerusalem, Herod and Pontius Pilate got together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel. Then they turned against your holy Servant Jesus, your chosen Messiah. 28 They did what you in your power and wisdom had already decided would happen.

29 Lord, listen to their threats! We are your servants. So make us brave enough to speak your message. 30 Show your mighty power, as we heal people and work miracles and wonders in the name of your holy Servant Jesus.

31 After they had prayed, the meeting place shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and bravely spoke God’s message.

Sharing Possessions

32  The group of followers all felt the same way about everything. None of them claimed that their possessions were their own, and they shared everything they had with each other. 33 In a powerful way the apostles told everyone that the Lord Jesus was now alive. God greatly blessed his followers, 34 and no one went in need of anything. Everyone who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money 35 to the apostles. Then they would give the money to anyone in need.

36-37 Joseph was one of the followers who had sold a piece of property and brought the money to the apostles. He was a Levite from Cyprus, and the apostles called him Barnabas, which means,

“one who encourages others.”

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

—-Summary

Acts 4:10-12 This man is standing here completely well because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You put Jesus to death on a cross, but God raised him to life. 11  He is the stone you builders thought was worthless, and now he is the most important stone of all. 12 Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.

  • Today’s Verse… Who is Jesus? 

Acts 4:10-12 This man is standing here completely well because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You put Jesus to death on a cross, but God raised him to life. 11  He is the stone you builders thought was worthless, and now he is the most important stone of all. 12 Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.

  • Today’s Challenge

Acts 4:31 After they had prayed, the meeting place shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and bravely spoke God’s message.

Prayer, Praise and Worship

“… He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23. 

Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’; (Luke 11).

Listen here to Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.

Prayer suggestions;-

  1. The world. (ie ‘For those in authority.’)
  2. The ‘suffering church.’ https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
  3. Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)

Pray along with this hymn… These are the days of Elijah…

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