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Nov 07, 2021

Peter and John Before the Council

Passage: Acts 4:1-22

Speaker: Bill McCurine

Series: Acts: Windows into the Missional Church

Category: Sermon


Sermon Summary:
A framework for looking at this passage: Jesus FOR me, Jesus IN me, Jesus THROUGH me
(1) The Context
  • The Sanhedrin is the council of Jewish spiritual, political and cultural leaders. They are the most powerful men in society and the very ones who had just conspired to execute Jesus. Their treatment of Peter & John is designed to threaten and intimidate them.
  • In contrast, not only were Peter & John "unschooled & ordinary" (v 13), they were failures who had denied and abandoned their master to his death.

(2) The Spiritual Transformation
The Sanhedrin are astonished by Peter and John (v 13). What happened to transform them?
  • Resurrection - God vindicated all of Jesus' ministry and claims by raising him from the dead
  • Pentecost - God included Jesus' followers in the New Covenant, supernaturally giving them a new identity by the power of the Spirit.

(3) Sharing the Good News with the Lame & Broken
  • At the request of the lame man, Peter and John could have focused on their past failures.
  • Instead they focus on and point to Jesus and the new reality he has brought.

(4) Sharing the Gospel Sometimes Involves Difficult Confrontations
  • Peter and John knew that, though the Sanhedrin were the MEANS by which Jesus was crucified, they themselves as sinful lost men were the REASON Jesus was crucified. They are wretched sinners who have been shown amazing grace.
  • Therefore they can speak with both humility and confidence, even at great personal cost.

Group Discussion:
  1. How does the Resurrection and Pentecost speak to your limitations and failures?
  2. Think of a challenge you are facing. How can you focus on and point to Jesus in the midst of it?
  3. Discuss the quote: We may be willing to die for Jesus, but are we willing to live for Him?
  4. Pray for one another