Sermon Brief (Not a Brief Sermon): Acts 4:13-22

      Peter and John speak before the religious jurists of their day in Jerusalem. The men who judge Peter and John that day are the same men who killed Jesus a short time ago. The religious jurists do not repeat the social/religious actions necessary to arrest and try Jesus with Peter and John in the Temple.

    Why not?


  • The Religious Jurists do not understand the difference in Christian discipleship. That is, ancient discipleship (rabbinical schools included) intended for the disciple to surpass his mentor/master by making disciples for himself. In ancient Christianity, the purpose of discipleship was to draw persons into the Christian community in order to make disciples for Jesus Christ. The Religious Jurists seem to believe they can stop the whole thing if they can just get the disciples to stop talking about the Master, Acts 4:7; 17,18.
  • The first commandment of the Christian disciple is to believe in, speak of and live according to the life of Jesus Christ. Believing is the first act of the Christian, Acts 4:18-19.
  • Preaching is required. Preaching is dependent of past learning (experience and reflection; authority tested as well as accepted). Preaching sets the out the faith as well as recounting the history of the faith, Acts 4:18-19.
  • Public opinion, more based on Christian good works, validates the worth of the Christian experience. Preaching and right living should be circular (simultaneous, continual, ever deepening) rather than consecutive (mutually exclusive), Acts 4:18-22

   The surprising aspects of the Christian experience include, but are not limited to:

  • The will to do good, Acts 4:9
  • The power to do well, Acts 4:16
  • The wax and wane of boldness to speak, Acts 4:13 and 29. In church meeting, we ought to pray for the ability to confound the world with how we live and what we preach in the name of the One we serve.

1 thought on “Sermon Brief (Not a Brief Sermon): Acts 4:13-22”

  1. Another related observation: why did the religious leaders need to crucify Jesus when they could have stoned him like they did Stephen? Obviously, there is something about the gospel that required death by crucifixion and not just death. I have always been taught that the religious leaders didn’t have the authority to use capital punishment, so they had to go through Pilate. Evidently, they had the power with Stephen. So, why did they go through the state with Jesus? There must be some gospel in there!
    Just an observation (not really related to your post…sorry)
    Todd Pylant

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