The Sadducees were upset about the apostles teaching because they (the Sadducees) didn’t believe in a resurrection! However, the arrest didn’t stop people from believing the message, and we see that 5000 men were saved. These results may help us to better understand what Jesus said in John: “I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father” (14:12). What deeds could be greater than healing, casting out demons, and raising the dead? How about the ability to preach and see multitudes saved? That can only happen because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus gave to us because He went to be with the Father. We see 5000 men saved here, 3000 people back in 2:41, and “more and more” in 5:14. Thank God for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives and our world today!
All the religious authorities want to know how Peter and John were able to heal the man. Peter states that it was all because of Jesus Christ, the one the rulers crucified but God raised from the dead. It was through His name and in His power that they were able to do it. He is the “stone that was rejected by you, the builders, that has become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22). He is the only way to be saved!
The rulers are flummoxed. They don’t know what to do, because the people saw the man healed (who was over 40 years old – no fake healing here), and were praising God! They do the only thing they can do at this point: they tell Peter and John to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. Peter challenges them: should they obey God, or should they obey the authorities? God has given them a message and a purpose, and they have to carry it out, regardless of the consequences.
Do we have the same courage of our convictions today? Many around the world are physically suffering because of their belief in Jesus. Are we going to let a little resistance keep us from sharing our faith?