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.”
The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves. – Acts 4:1-15
Happy Independence Day! I’ll watch the 1996 movie on July 4. It’s an annual tradition. I will also post various quotes on FB as I watch the movie. “I have got to get me one of these!”
It’s a lot of fun!
As we celebrate this day in our nation’s history, we do well to remember the greater gift of life and salvation delivered for all time and all people in Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection.
There can be many opinions about what freedom looks like in any nation on earth. We can be very proud of our country, and patriotic in our celebrations. But the greatest fireworks display on earth pales to the celebration and joy that will come to those who believe in Jesus.
Some will confer among themselves as to what to do with his claims, yet he reigns above all powers and authorities in heaven and on earth. Some will discard him as inconsequential disruptive, or unremarkable. But he is the chief cornerstone. Jesus is the only source of true freedom – eternal and pure.