Sunday morning I heard a sermon dealing with Acts 4 and it seems to have tied all the various things that I wanted to talk about this month into one. Starting with verse 13
"Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. "
Having observed the confidence of Peter and John. Lets back up a second and get the audience that Pete and John were talking to in verse 5
On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. 7 When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”
Rulers, Elders, Scribes, high priests, relatives of the high priests.
These are people that have wrongly imprisoned John and Peter. These are people that had just arranged and carried through with the death of the Savior. Now, standing before them, Peter doesn't cower and apologize. He doesn't shy away from anything. By the power of the Holy Spirit he tells the truth regardless of the consequences
"Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Peter who was arrested for proclaiming Christ and performing miracles in His name, testifies to the men that did the arresting, the men who offered up Christ, that Christ in the Messiah.. AND THEN points out their wrong doing. Peter, a regular dude, is pointing out to the educated and studied men of the church that their hearts and doctrines are wrong. Peter didn't pause and calibrate "Am I coming against the Lords anointed?" He told the truth to men that were 'of a higher position/authority' so to speak.
So, they're rebuked and what is the next line?
"Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.
In my pro-torah position I've had a handful of experiences where pastors or leaders in a church will believe that they have a right doctrine because they have studied the teaching of men. Some of them went and paid money and did a lot of hard work to study flawed men's interpretations of Biblical text. Some of them have degrees that essentially state "This person has learned everything that we flawed people, think that they should know about how other flawed people understood the Bible and therefore since they have paid the money and spent the time studying the thoughts of people... they should be trusted to learn what the Bible says" This is a parallel that I've come to understand in my walk and Peters. My life has a few parallels. Times when I've said things like "I'll never deny you lord" and then felt the weight of my own strength and will crushing me. Yet this, this boldness... to go before these men and women who were instructed in only a specific flawed line of thinking, having no formal instruction myself, God has used me to amaze and silence some. Why do so few people have that sense of boldness to speak on the matters of Truth in God's word? Many times, the people I discuss with have the same types of reactions that the Council did:
" And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus."
True story. Having discussed things with certain "men of learned degrees" and having contradictions not addressed within their doctrine, I have experienced the meetings where I am asked to not teach what I see or ask the questions that I ask, other times... it is requested that I leave. Thanks be to God who sustains me that I have held to His boldness and try to hold to the response as Peter and John saying:
“Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
.There is a saying that "if you do not stand in times of peace, you will fall in times of battle" Which brings me to my next point... which I might just save for the next post.