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 men who believed now totaled about 5,000.
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?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,
‘The stone that you builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.’
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:1-12
Have you ever gotten into trouble…for good cause or for bad? I was pretty much a good boy growing up. I obeyed the teacher, followed the rules, and was an all around polite young man. Patrick was another story. He was a bully and a trouble maker. He was always getting in trouble.
Patrick was in trouble for doing bad things. I was not in trouble because I did not do bad things. Combine those two and you have the situation of Peter and John: they were in trouble for doing nothing wrong. The priests, captain of the temple guard (who apparently was in league with the priests and perhaps the Sadducees), along with the Sadducees were not pleased with Peter and John. For Peter and John were preaching that through Jesus’ resurrection there was a resurrection from the dead. Now that’s something to get in trouble for!
The belief in the resurrection from the dead is the watershed for the Christian faith, belief, and hope. If there is no resurrection there is no hope in Christ. For all his claims rest on the veracity of this claim. The Sadducees were not opposed to the teaching of Peter and John because of they did not believe in any kind of resurrection at all. They didn’t care if the Christian faith rose or fell on this teaching; they simply rejected it outright. The considered this idea unfaithful to the message of the Old Testament.
I’ve never gotten in trouble for teaching the resurrection. But I suspect there are those who politely disagree but say nothing. That’s sad. For if Jesus really did rise from the dead (which indeed he did!), the consequences of that go far beyond whether someone gets into trouble or not for teaching it.