Key Verse: Acts 4:20 “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (NIV)
The trouble started the afternoon Peter and John went up to the temple to pray. Until now they had enjoyed “the favour of all the people” (2:47). But then a crippled beggar called out to them for money. They were broke — but they did give him something. “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth”, they commanded him to get those crippled legs in motion and walk. And he did…to the amazement of the whole city! Now the polarization began.
The people, of course, were astonished to see this well-known beggar walking. There he was! Walking and holding on to Peter and John. As they gathered around, Peter and John began to preach. Their sermon was very up-front and candid. Peter accused the people of disowning “the Holy and Righteous one” and handing Him over to Pilate to be killed. He graciously gave them an out by saying they had “acted in ignorance”, but then went on to say that God had used the crucifixion events to fulfil prophecy. He then called them to repentance. Even as he spoke of the power of the resurrection, the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees” seized Peter and John, and threw them into jail. Once again the city was divided by the message and work of Jesus, but five thousand more believers were added to the church.
The next day, Peter and John were questioned by the High Priest, his family, and other high officials. The question was, “By what power or what name did you do this?” (4:7). Peter replied, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you completely healed” (4:10). The officials, angry as they were, could say nothing — for the healed beggar was standing right there for everyone to see. so they threatened Peter and John and let them go. Who can argue with eyewitnesses? Especially when you’re one yourself!