Peter & John released: Provision is here! | Acts 4:15-37

“But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

Commentary: The apostles were not taught in law schools of the Jews; rather, Jesus taught them. Members of the Sanhedrin were aware that Peter and John were ignorant of the Jewish standards, and were not aware that they were not allowed to speak about Christ in the temple. Information of Jesus had always been viral since He began ministry; therefore, to keep that viral information from spreading further, gag orders were given. Nonetheless, the healed man is proof that Jesus is still alive and at work making miracles.

The Jewish leaders did not want to punish the apostles; instead, they were given the usual gag order to keep them from speaking of Christ. The apostles, however, refused to obey, but this did not fume the leaders any further. The opposition continued just as people of the Old Testament had done, such as David opposing the adversity of his day. The apostles are to be leaders of change; therefore, some sacrifices are being made to achieve God’s Will. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, the apostles continue their ministry of Jesus’ Messianic Work.

Other notes: Jews do not believe Jesus is the Messiah, because there are a few prophecies that are unfulfilled, in which case Jesus promised to fulfill in the future. Nonetheless, the Jews do not have faith that Jesus was the Messiah, and He will complete the work (as they were expecting Him to already have done it). The prophecies of note are in Isaiah 2:4 (because let’s face it, the world is still at war), the lack of evidence that Jesus came from Judah and directly descended from David and Solomon (2 Samuel 7:12-14; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10), ingathering of the Jewish exiles (see Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 30:3, 32:37; Ezekiel 11:17, 36:24), etc.

Peter and John arrested and questioned | Acts 4:1-14

“And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”

Commentary: After hearing of Peter’s speech by witness of the people in the temple, the priests, the temple captain, and the Sadducees took Peter and John in for arrest and questioning. This group of temple leaders were concerned with why the people marveled so much at their healing of the lame man, and what made that moment so special. Anyone causing a stir in the temple was already to be questioned, because unusual activity can be seriously detrimental to temple life, especially if there are many people praying or doing spiritual things (interruptions during prayer can be angering).

The Jews failed to accept Jesus as the Messiah (Psalm 118:22 => Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7). In addition, the failings of the temple service-members shows their immaturity spiritually. Around 5,000 were saved during this experience, and that means the temple will likely lose many attendees. This was the appointed time for this occurrence. Peter left them speechless, for they could not deny Jesus’ healing of the lame man.

When asked by the priests what name the miracle was done, Peter unashamedly testified that it was Jesus Christ (of Nazareth) whom the Jews killed, and He is the One who is risen and made His People whole (healthy, well). Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone (a cornerstone is the main foundation stone, in that it is set first, and then all the other foundation is measured based on it). Therefore, Jesus is the prime example of Salvation, and He is our foundation – He sets the standard for how our lives are lived. He is the only One by which man can be saved.

Historical notes: The Pharisees had derived from the common people who attempted the preservation of the Jewish way of life, to keep it from foreign or political plans and other forms of corruption (today, we call these “activists”). The Sadducees derived from wealthy classes of people, and were more focused on exercising power and control in the Jewish society. The core difference in beliefs between the two was that the Pharisees actually believed in a physical resurrection of the dead; however, the Sadducees did not believe it (see Matthew 22:23; Acts 23:8). Overall, the Pharisees were quite fond of luring political leaders into their web of deceit.

Beginning Commentary: Jesus admonishes the Disciples on Titles – Matthew 23:7-12

Welcome to the beginning of our commentary on this site. We are glad to administer commentary on a normal basis. I do hope this experience allows you to learn bits of Biblical knowledge each day (hopefully daily most of the time). We appreciate all of the new followers, welcome to the Lord’s Work!

Today we are discussing the admonishing to the Disciples that Jesus gave about using titles in ministry.

Scripture: Matthew 23:7-12

“7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren.9 And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ.11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

Prophetic data: There does not appear to be prophetic data in reference here.

Archaeological data: There does not appear to be archaeological data in reference here.

Commentary

Jesus is explaining to His Disciples (which translates over to all Disciples after this that carry on the Lord’s Work of ministering the Gospel) that they should not be as the Scribes and the Pharisees who call themselves “Rabbi,” “Teacher,” “Master,” or “Father.” Jesus charged them with not using titles in front of their name, because it gives the false impression that the Disciple is someone of power or authority.

Instead, they are to be a servant to their brethren, yes, on equal ground with their brethren in Christ. Jesus Christ is the True Master of all, and God is the True Father of all, and God is also “Reverend” (Psalm 111:9). Jesus gives the impression that there is no need for more masters, mystics, deified, or exalted beings. God gave the knowledge of Deity to Jesus Christ, and He is Master.

Those exalting themselves (such as with titles, authority, or other misleading traits) would be humbled, and those who are humble (such as servanthood) would be exalted (which would probably amount to doing more work for His Service in the Kingdom).

Spiritual pride can cause incalculable evil in the Church; however, please note that He is not speaking against spiritual leaders (the greater among men that are servants; also called servant leadership in some circles). What Jesus is speaking against is for those that attempt to distinguish themselves from other members of His Body. Jesus sees all of His People equally and does not show preference (see Romans 2:11).

Other notes: Some source notes for Matthew 23:12 show that “ostentation” should be avoided. 23:8 notes “be not ye called” an ingressed aorist subjunctive from the Greek, possibly to regard the potential adoption of titles to be used publicly as an object of pride of the Disciple or assigned to the Disciple — Jesus did not differentiate whether the Disciple assigned the title to themselves or would allow someone else to assign it. 23:9 “father” notes “Abba”, which depicts the harmonic sense of “spiritual father”, which would be stated to not condemn a person’s Earthly father.