The Persecution Begins
(a) that such men as Peter and John, untrained in the rabbinic schools, were teaching the people (v. 2a) and (b) that they “proclaimed in Jesus” an actual instance of “resurrection from the dead” (v. 2b, ASV). The Sadducees denied the possibility of resurrection.
1. The Defense
The Pharisees kept themselves apart both socially and theologically from aristocratic sympathizers with Hellenism and the uneducated commoners.
How easy it would have been for Peter and John to answer the high priest’s question by simply saying, “God did it.” That would have been a religiously and politically correct response, and the apostles could have been dismissed immediately. When they brought Jesus, his crucifixion, and his resurrection into the argument, the whole complexion of the Council changed. The issue now revolved not around a healed cripple, but around the authority of Jesus of Nazareth.
Since salvation comes through the name of Jesus, Christians must courageously proclaim that name even in the most difficult of situations.
2. The Deliberation
3. The Determination
Christians with courage should be law-abiding citizens until that law exceeds the clearly written law of God, at which point a higher authority takes over.