November 18, 2018
Sunday Bible Study
Open with an Invocation
Continuing Power in the Church
12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
This is the third picture of the church in Jerusalem. The first was in Acts 2:42-47 (3,000 added in one day). The second was in Acts 4:32-35 (about 5,000 Christians now). In Acts 5 no number is given (vs.14). The apostles have not been dispersed as of yet. Peter tends to speak for the whole group but not by any special authority. The are acting as one (hands is plural). The signs and wonders were miracles of grace (preaching) and healing in contrast to the strong judgment against Ananias and Sapphira (5:1-11). The meeting place is Solomon’s Porch. This is located on the outer wall of the Eastern Side of the Temple. The undestroyed portion of the First Temple (the temple Solomon built) foundation is under this area. The Jews gather daily in this area. Again, there is no great distinction between Jew and Christian, but the Christians were a distinct group among the Jews.
vs13 Notes: The Christians were highly esteemed because of the many healings taking place regardless of Jew or Christian. But the many Jews were also afraid of joining the Christians because of the ruling authorities (Sanhedrin).
vs14 Notes: And yet, Jewish men and women were brought to faith daily through the preaching of Peter. Again, the number of Christians is now too high to count accurately. It is greater than 5,000.
vs15 Notes: There is no superstition here. The shadow of Peter healed the sick. The hem of Jesus’ robe healed the woman with the 12 year flow of blood. In Acts, as in Luke, all of these miracles are done by Jesus among the people. It is a continuation of Jesus’ ministry but now through the mouth and hands of the apostles.
Imprisoned Apostles Freed (by the Lord)
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.” 21 And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
vs 17 Notes: The Sadducees have been observing the Apostles as they publicly keep disobeying their orders to “not preach or speak in the name of Jesus.” They are also observing the increase of the Christian movement. But here they snap.
vs18 Notes: The apostles are placed in prison again.
vs19 Notes: The Lord takes care of this problem. He sends an angel to release them from prison. This angel is an angel. It is not Jesus but it is Jesus who sent the angel. Angels are pure spirits. People are enfleshed spirits. Two different kinds of creatures in the Lord’s creation. This angel delivers to the apostles a message from the Lord.
vs20 Notes: The are to go back to Solomon’s Porch and continue speaking “all the words of this life.” Similar to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20 baptized all nations and teach them all things I have commanded you). Overall, this is Jesus rebuking the Sadducees. The Sadducees have rejected the life Jesus gives and want to stop others from receiving it (Matthew 23:13 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in). So the Apostles are directed by the Lord to go back and keep on giving/speaking out the Words of Life.
Close with the Lord’s Prayer and a Blessing