The Two “R’s”
Loving Lord, I praise You as the same caring, healing Lord who walked the earth so long ago.
Read Acts 4:1-12
 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.  They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.  They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.  But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.  The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.  Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family.  They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,  then know this, you and all the people of Israel: 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 healed.  Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did the disciples reply to the religious authorities?
Revolts were taking place across the Middle East and those in positions of power were worried. That’s not a far cry from the situation the early followers found after the miraculous healing outside the temple gate. Resurrection and revolution were fast becoming major concerns to those in positions of power, and the apostles’ teaching was seriously disturbing them. They seized Peter and John and put them in jail (3). The Sadducees–the wealthy and powerful religious leaders–denied the resurrection and feared the consequences of a power shake-up. If Jesus were the chosen Messiah and the one predicted to restore everything to its proper place, then they were likely to be the losers. They were fighting for survival (7). Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Peter answers their questions and announces Jesus to be the Savior for all humankind–a radical message indeed. If more people were to grasp this, then there was no telling what kind of revolution would occur, and that’s exactly what the Sadducees was worried about. Suddenly the story they had buried was majestically alive.
Do you know what is happening in the world? How can you set aside regular time to be informed and pray?
Lord, I know You are Lord of all and in control of the world. I praise You for that today.
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