Friday, May 8, 2020

Friday - Acts 4 - Evangelism Explosion

OING from a membership of 120 to 3120 was a gargantuan step for the first church. But, how about when they went from 3120 to over 8000 members? This was what happened as a result of the attention that the apostles got (and how they used it) when the lame man was healed at the temple.  But that's not all that happened when they preached. Peter and John also were arrested for their preaching. This arrest was no small event either. Less than 2 months before this occasion, the same wicked leaders had arrested Jesus too (and that had ended in their willful execution of Him). Peter and John could have reasonably felt like they were in grave danger. But, when we read the glorious words of Peter from Acts 4:8-12, it is immediately evident that Peter had an altogether different issue on his mind. His own safety was the least of his concerns. He was only interested in confronting people with the marvelous truth about who Jesus Christ was and why He had come.

There are a couple of things that are particularly amazing about this narrative. First, there was not even an attempt on the part of the religious authorities to deny what Peter and John had done in healing the crippled man. There were simply too many witnesses. Secondly (& sadly), the religious rebels (who were holding these two apostles) had absolutely no interest in Jesus' undeniable legitimacy as the Christ. They hated the name "Jesus" (vs. 17-18) & it disturbed them greatly to see the growth of the group following His apostles.

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