The Holy Spirit Speaks, The Christian Community (Acts 4) Commentary


Peter and John spoke boldly by the power of the Spirit.  The priests had thought they could destroy Jesus with his crucifixion, but they found His dominion was only growing stronger.  They were disturbed by the preaching of the resurrection of Jesus- the Glory of God troubles a hardened heart.  They seized the apostles to silence them, but the Gospel had already reached the people, and many converted. There is no stopping Jesus. Familiar names preside at the assembly: Caiaphas and Annas, who plotted for the  trial and execution of  Jesus. They demand to know by what power the apostles have healed. Peter does not hold back, but is filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus had told them they would face councils, but not to be afraid of what to say, as the Spirit would give them words. Peter proclaims the name the Jesus- and he does not shy away from the fact that it is the Jesus that they had killed. He proclaims Jesus conquered death, and is the way to salvation. The council threatens them not to speak anymore of this, but Peter and John say they will continue to witness. After giving more threats, the council can do nothing else. Peter and John share this with the other believers, who in turn had every reason to be nervous and scared for there lives.  But they do not run, or deny the truth. They pray for boldness from the Holy Spirit.

This young Christian community relied upon each other for well being spiritually and physically. Luke includes this, that readers may follow this example of charity and love. This is the first mention of Barnabas, formerly Joseph, but because of his transformation through his acceptance of Christ, he became known as “Son of Encouragement”.  He was a long time companion of Paul.  Barnabas was willing to do what the young rich man could not:  Sell his possessions and follow Jesus.  (Matt 19:16-29)

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