Sunday, January 22, 2012

Acts 4:1-4

Acts 4:1-4
And while they called out to the people the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees stood nearby to them while being made weary for the sake of them teaching the people and announcing in Jesus the resurrection – the one out of the dead.  And they cast hands upon them and they put into custody into the next day, for it was now evening.  And many of the ones who heard the word believed and the number of the men became as five thousand.

Thoughts for Today:

First Thought:

5,000?  Really?

Hopefully you remember a story a few days ago that spoke about 3,000.  Now we are up to 5,000.  Is it really possible that from Jesus’ death to this time (probably a few months at best) the church grew from roughly 100 followers of Christ to 8,000 followers?  The answer to that is yes.  God is not constrained by our impossibilities.  God is bigger than us.  God can take people willing to proclaim God’s Word and put them in a place where people who are searching for God have been gathered.  I’m not saying it isn’t rare, but God can do the impossible!

Can you ever conceive of yourself leading 5,000 people to Jesus?  How might the answer to that question affect God’s willingness to bring about that reality?

Second Thought:

Imagine being in a place where person after person wants to believe in God.  Just for the record, there are 86,400 seconds in a day.  That means that if Peter would have had all day to talk to these people, he could have only spent 17.28 seconds with each one.  Okay, maybe John helped.  That still gives 34.56 seconds with each one.  Maybe they talked in groups of 10.  That gives 345.6 seconds (5 minutes and 45.6 seconds) per group.  Do you get what I am saying here?  Peter and John had an amazingly impossible time!  And that’s assuming they had all day, which we know that they didn’t because they got themselves arrested.  So there is no way we can say that this is Peter and John doing great work.  Clearly this is the Holy Spirit moving through Peter and John, who made themselves available.  This isn’t great human evangelism; this is great spiritual evangelism being done through human vessels.

What is the key to this part of the story?  Why do we have a hard time applying this key of this story to our life?

Third Thought:

Peter and John get arrested.  The get arrested because their preaching annoyed the “supposed spiritual leaders” of Jerusalem.  They got arrested because they had a crowd of 5,000 people wanting to hear more about Jesus.

Are you willing to get arrested for talking about Christ?  What about having your friends think you are weird and maybe not wanting to hang out with you anymore?  What sacrifice is too much?  Why is it important to ask these questions?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 4:5-7
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