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Read Introduction to Acts

 

So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

 

4:21

So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.

In response to Peter and John’s response to the council’s demand that they cease speaking about what they heard, the council issued a second warning. The authorities had to let Peter and John free from prison because they feared the crowd, who witnessed the healing for themselves.

4:22

For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

Verse 22 is a commentary on the council’s inability to adequately deal with Peter and John. The evidence was too strong; the healed man had been lame for 40 years. The word for “miracle” carries the idea of a sign, a sign that points to something. The healing of the lame man was a sign that God was at work.

PRINCIPLE:

If there is a question of whether we obey government or God, God is the highest authority.

APPLICATION:

Peter and John replied to the Sanhedrin that they had to obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). The healing was a genuine “sign” that God had intervened in their situation.

This situation was the first crisis of the church from the government. It was a test of the apostles’ principle and courage. The church still faces challenges from government today. Secularism is an attempt to marginalize Christianity from the public square so that it has little influence. Other forces in society seek to identify Christianity as a cultic belief. This thinking is especially true in the 21st century, wherein Marxism, dialectical thought, and culture in general have become hostile to biblical truth.

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