Day 171 – How to Stop a Jesus Movement

Can you imagine? You’re the high priest Caiaphas (or his father in law Annas, the High Priest emeritus) and you think you’ve taken care of this Jesus problem.

No more threat to your people – and more importantly – to your power.

Then, oops.

Peter heals a crippled guy – who can now walk.

Then, double oops.

Peter and John show up and start to preach crazy things like “the resurrection from the dead” – in and through Jesus. Acts 4:2 ESV

Before, the Jewish leaders had only Jesus to deal with. Now they have these two and 5000 followers.

Now it’s triple oops.

On top of all that – to the Jewish rulers’ shock and awe – these uneducated apostles Peter and John weren’t afraid as they said even more crazy things like

  • the crippled man was healed  in the name and by the power of Jesus,
  • that Jesus was the stone the builders rejected, and
  • that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name [than Jesus] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Just when you think Jesus is gone…

Well, we tried crucifixion and apparently that didn’t work (they must have been thinking), so “….they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men?” (vs. 15).

They decided to take a real hard line approach to the insurrection that refused to fail: “let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” (vs. 17)

Yea. Right.

So they called [Peter and John] and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. (18-21)

These powerful rulers managed to crucify the Son of God to save their skins (and ended up saving our souls – by God’s grace and plan).

And all they can do to stop the Spirit-filled apostles (and the crowed of first believers) is “Would you mind keeping this Jesus thing to yourselves?”

Yea. Right.

Today’s Readings: 1 Chronicles 1:1 – 2:55,  Psalm 76:1-10, Proverbs 19:6-7, Acts 4:1-22. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).

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