The Arrest of Peter and John

Text: Acts 4:1-31

I.            Because the healing of the lame man drew such a large crowd, the crowd drew the attention of the authorities.

              A.          They heard Peter preaching about Jesus and his resurrection – the very thing they had thought would die away with the death of Jesus!

              B.          Peter, John and the ex-lame man were arrested and held overnight.

              C.          Yet this did not stop people from thinking about the things Peter said.

                            1.           People believed

                            2.           The number grew to about 5,000 Christians.

II.          The next day, the leaders gathered to discuss this situation

              A.          We have both high-priests - Annas and Caiaphas as well as their close relatives

              B.          They began to examine Peter and John, demanding to know where they received the power to heal. Who gave them the authority?

              C.          Peter, being lead by the Spirit (as Jesus had promised) answered

                            1.           He pointed out they were being tried for helping a sick man

                            2.           As to the source of power and authority, Peter stated plainly that it was by Jesus Christ’s power and authority.

                                           a.           The very man they crucified and that God had raised from the dead

                                           b.           The man standing with them was proof of Peter’s claim

                                           c.           Peter then quoted the Old Testament to further prove that this was the will of God

                            3.           The conclusion is that only in Jesus can salvation be gained.

              D.          It amazed the council that Peter and John stood before them with confidence.

                            1.           They were not afraid of them as they should be.

                            2.           They spoke well, though they were uneducated men

                            3.           And they realized that these men had been with Jesus.

              E.          They also were at a loss as to how to argue against Peter, given that their proof was standing in their midst.

              F.           They had the prisoners move off while they discussed the matter

                            1.           They could not argue against the miracle, too many have seen it and it was too obvious as to what had happened. They would look foolish to say it never happened.

                            2.           Their primary fear was that the news would spread and lead more people to Jesus.

                            3.           They concluded to order Peter and John not to speak about Jesus or teach in Jesus’ name.

              G.          Peter and John answered that only they could judge if they thought they had more authority than God, but their minds were made up – they would continue to speak of what they witnessed.

              H.          The council made further threats, but they could not do anything against Peter and John.

                            1.           They had broken no law

                            2.           They were popular with the people.

                            3.           The people all credited the events to God. They would not be seen as opposing God.

III.         After their release, Peter and John went to the disciples and reported what had happened.

              A.          A prayer of thanksgiving was lifted up to God

                            1.           They acknowledged the power of God in creation

                            2.           They acknowledged the knowledge of God in predicting these events

                                           a.           The very enemies of Jesus were doing the will of God.

                            3.           They asked God to protect them from these enemies

                                           a.           To give them confidence to speak

                                           b.           To continue to aid them with signs from heaven

              B.          The place they gather shook and all gathered were filled with the Holy Spirit, who gave them boldness to speak.

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