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Party Poopers

by | Jun 20, 2022 | Great Commission, Salvation, Witnessing

“And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead-by Him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.'” (Acts 4:1-12 ESV)

One line in this story completely cracks me up: “the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees [were] greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” Well, yes, I should say so. It must be incredibly annoying to go to all the trouble of crucifying someone, only to have His followers pop up to tell everybody that He hasn’t stayed dead!

It must be even more frustrating when those followers actually do a miracle in public, right in front of everybody. That God-given miracle just underlined the truth of everything they were saying. No wonder the leaders threw Peter and John in jail overnight. They probably needed that time just to figure out what to do next!

That annoyed reaction is hilarious—but on another level, it’s really sad as well. To have this reaction means missing the boat entirely—missing the joy—missing the Good News altogether.

Jesus’ resurrection means so many wonderful things. It means, first of all, that the One we love has returned from the dead, and will never die again. It means that all His suffering had a purpose, and that Jesus has accomplished what He set out to do—freeing the human race from sin and judgment. It means that He really is the Son of God, just as He said He was, and all He told us is true. It means that the power of death is permanently broken—not just by God, but by a human being, one of us, Jesus Christ. It means that all of us will rise again too, because He is sharing His victory with us—with everyone who will take His gift and trust Him.

What John and Peter were saying is the best news in the world. Let’s rejoice in it, and tell others as well.

THE PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to see all the wonderful things You have done for us through Your death and resurrection. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Republished with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries

Reflection Questions:

1. Have you ever had to deal with a party pooper? Tell the story.
2. Why do you think Peter and John were suddenly so courageous?
3. What one aspect of Jesus’ resurrection means the most to you right now?