Unstoppable: Acts 5:27-32
“27) When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28) saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29) But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30) The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31) He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32) And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”” Acts‬ ‭5‬:‭27‬-‭32‬
The religious leaders were not only jealous that God was working through the Apostles but had abandoned them, they were also trying escape their responsibility of crucifying Jesus. Verse 28 says; “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
How quickly they had forgotten the words they incited the crowd to cry out before Pilate; “His blood be upon us and upon our children!” (Matthew 27:25) Peter and the apostles would have no part of it. They responded to them with shocking boldness.
First, they informed them that they intended to obey God rather than men. They had no respect for the high priest or his associates, the Sadducees. (See verse 17) He had forfeited his office when he led the charge to put Jesus to death. Peter informed him they were going to obey God rather than men. Peter charged them with the crucifixion of Jesus.
Second, Peter recounted the fact of the resurrection and credited it to the work of the God of their fathers. He went on to say that God had exalted Him to his right hand as Prince and Savior. This is a direct reference back to the words of Jesus as He was on trial before Caiaphas the high priest.
Let’s review Matthew 26:63-66; “63) But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64) Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65) Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; 66) what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!”” Exactly what Jesus said had been fulfilled. Caiaphas did not stop it and because of the resurrection he could no longer deny it. The only group that remained loyal to him were the Sadducees who denied life after death or a resurrection. In a strange twist of events, Caiaphas was now the one being tried.
Third, Peter informed the religious leaders that because of the resurrection, Jesus now reigned as Prince and Savior at the right hand of God. He was in charge and He had fulfilled the plan of redemption for Israel. With repentance He was eager to grant forgiveness of sins. Jesus always fulfills His promises.
Finally, Peter informed Caiaphas and his council that the apostles were merely witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and so was the ministry of the Holy Spirit who had been given to those who obey Jesus. (See Vs 32) The many signs, wonders, healings and deliverances from unclean spirits validated the identity of Jesus Christ. The hand of God was at work doing all of these things.
It was no longer a task of stopping the twelve. There were now many thousand believers who were filled with the Holy Spirit and testifying on behalf of Jesus. The gospel was spreading like a wild fire in every direction and into surrounding countries. The visitors who had been in Jerusalem for Pentecost took the message back their homes with them. An earth shaking awakening was unfolding. It was unstoppable!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global