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Read Introduction to Acts

 

3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

 

4:3

And they laid hands on them,

Religious leaders arrested Peter and John.

and put them in custody until the next day,

The Sanhedrin had jurisdiction over disruptions in the temple. They had the authority to put the apostles in jail.

for it was already evening.

Since it was already evening, the trial by the Sanhedrin would have to delay until the next day.

4:4

However,

In contrast to the hostility of the religious leaders, the people who heard Peter and John embraced their message. There is a stark disparity between how religious leaders reacted to Christianity and how the general population responded.

many of those who heard the word believed;

The message by Peter and John was successful because many believed it. The arrest of the apostles did not daunt the effect of their sermon.

and the number of the men [male human beings] came to be about five thousand.

The number of people who responded to the message about the lame man’s healing was enormous — 5,000 believed in the message of Peter and John that Jesus was the Messiah and that He rose from the dead. That number was only the males; it did not count the women and children who came to the Lord. The church experienced extraordinary growth in its early years (Acts 1:15; 2:41).

PRINCIPLE:

Passionate conviction creates movement in spreading the gospel

APPLICATION:

It should be of no surprise that those who hate the gospel of Christianity should attack its message (Jn 15:18-20; 16:2; 2 Ti 3:12). When preached with conviction, the gospel becomes a juggernaut that creates momentum in spreading the gospel (Php 1:12-14). Persecution cannot stop the force of the gospel because the Holy Spirit is at work. Persecution served to empower the church. As Tertullian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

 

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