The Bridge / Intro:
While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of believers now totalled about 5,000 men, not counting women and children.
The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”Acts 4:1-7
Rather than go through all the segments and list my questions, I plan to go through each segment one by one. Given the number of segments we have in this chapter, it would be overkill if I listed all the questions en masse. After I give you my questions for a segment I will leave you until the following Gems before we tackle the answers. That will give you time to add your own questions (share them with me if you wish) and time to think about the answers before we tackle them together. Now having set the scene for the way we will handle the task before us, let’s begin.
Here are my questions for the Intro:
- Why does Luke make the statement that the confrontation happening while Peter and John were speaking?
- Why doesn’t he just tell us that they were confronted by the priests and the Temple guard?
- Why does Luke use the terms that he does?
- Why does he list all the players in detail?
- Why doesn’t he tell us what he told us in his gospel that they were brought before the Sanhedrin?
- What is this Council that is mentioned? Why is it council and not Council?
- What is the difference between the Council and the Sanhedrin?
- Why does Luke list the priests, captain of the Temple Guard and Sadducees?
- What was it that disturbed the leaders?
- Why was the “resurrection of the dead” a problem?
- Why does Luke tell us Peter and John were speaking? / “Peter and John were teaching” and yet we don’t know what John said?
- Why is verse 4 dropped into the middle of the other verses of the introduction which clearly set the scene?
- How much time went by between the healing and this confrontation?
- It seems from the action that the healing takes place, the speech is given by Peter which is then interrupted and suddenly it is evening.
- At the time they were arrested, why wasn’t the issue made clear “then”?
- Why do they have to spend a night in jail? Aren’t they innocent until proven guilty?
- Is the council the next day different from the leaders gathered the day before?
- Why the distinction between all the rulers, elders, teachers of religious law?
- Who are Annas, Caiaphas, John and Alexander?
- What were the relatives of the high priest doing there? Is this a family affair?
- Why do they only call Peter and John and not include the man who was healed?
- Surely the man is a witness too if they want to get to the truth.
- Why is the focus of the investigation the power (and authority) to do what they have done?
- Why the big deal about the “NAME”?
Time to add your questions as well when you work through the “intro” and ponder some of the issues.Come on Ian, you ask far more questions than Luke gave us information. You have used 335 words in your questions and Luke only used 146 words to give us the account. No. I certainly don’t have any more questions. I think you have come up with enough. Do you think that’s all the questions that can be asked? There is always more to ponder. There are unasked questions from me that I haven’t listed yet. Ok, I get the message. Just ponder the passage and see where it takes you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
See you back here in a couple of days when we will unpack the passage. Hopefully there maybe some questions you readers wish to add. I will rely on the likes of Pak Suryadi, Libby and Shelley and people like them for the additional questions which trouble you. As I keep telling Deeper Bible students, “There’s always more”.
And in case you are wondering, I didn’t go back and laboriously count my words and Luke’s. I simply used word count on the computer because the difference in quantity struck me and I though it might have struck you too. See you next Gem.
Some people open their mouth before they have thought about it. Don’t let that be you.Anon
If he ever said what’s on his mind, he’d be speechless.Anon
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.Anon
I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.Nelson Mandela
Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.Albert Einstein
If asked if you were born, don’t produce the certificate. Breathe, speak, touch. If asked if you were born again . . .John Piper