The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. Acts 4:1-4
Peter and John were fishermen before Jesus called them to be his disciples. Soon they were included in Jesus’ inner circle of close friends. After Jesus was arrested, they scattered along with the other disciples and hid behind locked doors after Jesus was crucified. These men were not educated in the rabbinical schools, they were simple fishermen who decided to follow Jesus.
After Jesus was crucified and rose again, these men received the Holy Spirit and were transformed into bold preachers of the good news. Peter spoke the following words in Jerusalem to large crowds of people. “31 Seeing what was ahead, he (David) spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear,” Acts 2:31-33. Many in the crowd repented of their sin and became believers because of Peter’s bold message.
Not surprisingly, the Sanhedrin objected to Peter and John, “proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead,” Acts 4:2. Many in the Sanhedrin did not believe in a personal Messiah nor in the resurrection. Peter and John were arrested and put in jail, because they told the crowds about Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and how those truths could impact and change their lives.
The resurrection is a key part of the good news because Jesus is alive, his body in not in the tomb, and he is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is our living hope and he intercedes for us. Are we willing to boldly tell others about Jesus’ life, his death for our sins, his resurrection, his offer of forgiveness, and the change that has made in our lives? The resurrection transformed John and Peter’s lives, stories and vocations. How has it changed your life? He is risen; He is risen indeed.
By Grace Hunter