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Summary: The Sanhedrin again seek to put Christ and Christianity on trial, even though Jesus has been crucified, dead and buried.

Mid-Week Message/Devotion

April 25, 2018

Acts 4:5-12

We are reading through this account of Peter and the apostles being queried by yet another gathering of what amounts to a self-appointed council. Why do I say self-appointed? You see this council of Jewish priests – the Sanhedrin was comprised of a tight group of family members. Annas, the high priest, his son-in-law Caiaphas and his sons. This was the epitome of nepotism. This is the same “court” that condemned Jesus to the cross. Their reasoning for condemning Christ and now questioning Peter and John was that they were protecting the Jewish faith.

The politics of all of this has as much to do with destroying anyone or anything that taught and practiced any religion or even philosophy that varied from established Jewish beliefs and practices.

Is it a stretch to make a comparison to today’s world where the divide between conservatives and liberals is destructive to a critical level? When liberals are in control, they make as many appointments to courts and positions of authority as they can, filling the positions with staunch liberals. Likewise, that is exactly what the conservative factions do. More attention is given to power and control than to governing for the betterment of the masses. Every effort is made to denigrate anyone or any system that isn’t in full agreement. Today Christianity, the bible, churches, and practices are under attack by those who wish to see Christianity eradicated. Just as in today’s reading, there is no justice being sought. It is out and out politics and sought-after politics, power and control.

Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin Council to be questioned about the miraculous healing of a crippled man. Of course, we understand that the cripple was healed by the power of Jesus Christ by Peter who was filled with the Holy Ghost. Peter did not heal this man, Jesus did through Peter and Peter’s obedience.

The Sanhedrin were after a way of explaining away this healing by some practical means so as to detract from any focus on Christ.

We see this all the time, don’t we? The age-old evolution versus creation is perhaps the most widely known example. But for every modern-day miracle, there are attempts by non-believers to explain away the miracle by some coincidence or scientific reasoning.

When a major hurricane was bearing down on our village in the Dominican Republic, we send out a prayer request world-wide. When the hurricane swept through, it literally split, with half of the driving rain and wind passing us by to the South and the other half to the North and then regrouped immediately. The rain was seen to be driven horizontal to the ground. Our church was under construction and the new cement floor was yet dust covered. The villagers were astounded that not a drop of water entered that church, even though there were no windows installed.

We practice a ministry of intercessory prayer. We are quite accustomed to seeing miraculous answers to prayer, always faithful to recognize that it is God that responds to the prayers and is faithful in mercy and goodness.

Peter stood before the Sanhedrin and stated: “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Well, well, well! The council was faced with quite a dilemma. They recognized that this was an undeniable miracle. So, as we read on, we find them seeking ways to stifle this happening.

In other words, if we can’t deny the truth and evidence our alternative is to destroy the evidence. This becomes the subject of an upcoming message – Stay tuned!

Let us pray -

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