Vs. 3, “They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.” Jesus’ prophetic words are coming true as the disciples are now experiencing persecution for their faith (Matthew 10). Peter and John are arrested that evening, however, this does not deter many more coming to faith (vs. 1-4). In our previous chapter, they had healed the lame man and were now preaching the gospel in the Solomon’s Colonnade. The following morning, Peter and John stand before Annas (former high priest), Caiaphas (current high priest), and the Sanhedrin; the same people who tried Jesus just weeks earlier (vs. 5-12). The Holy Spirit filled Peter and gave him the words to respond before them (Matthew 10:19)! These were the very people who rejected Jesus, but now Peter calls them out. The opponents were in a dilemma, for it was undeniable that a miracle had occurred with the lame man (vs. 13-22). If they let them go, they may continue to share. But if they condemn them, there may be a public riot. In our application section, we will discuss the disciple’s response. When Peter and John returned, the early church responded with great faith and courage (vs. 23-31). Their response and prayer was so powerful, that place they met was shaken by God (vs. 31)! And we close our chapter (vs. 32-37) with another reminder how the early followers voluntarily shared their possessions. It’s notable that Barnabas is mentioned. In the next chapter, we will see why this reminder was placed contextually.
Regarding application…Who Do We Obey? Vs. 19, “But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.” We should be respectful citizens of the country we reside in. The Apostle Paul gave us the right perspective (Romans 13:1-7) as well as Peter (I Peter 2:13-17) in laying down the foundation of civil obedience. However, there is a caveat: If your countries laws go directly against God’s word, than we must obey God first! In most cases, this will not apply to us. For example, if your country is banning bibles and meeting together for worship, you are justified in breaking such a law. Please pray for wisdom from the Spirit of God in how you respond. We should do our best to obey the laws of our land!