Dear RCF Sisters and Brothers,
People defend their turf. You can only encroach upon what they believe is rightfully theirs for so long. Then they will use whatever means they have at their disposal to push you off. They will begin by asking you to back away, but if you don’t oblige the counter pressure against you will increase quickly. Like Popeye the Sailorman, they will declare, “That’s alls I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!” Then you’ve got serious trouble.
That was certainly true concerning the first century Jewish religious leaders who had believed that they had rid themselves of the Nazarene Miracle Worker Who had come within the thickness of a matza from being crowned King of Israel. It took a very high-stakes move to convince the Roman governor to execute the popular usurper. Yet even after that, most people were convinced by first or second-hand evidence that He had come back to life, which proved to many of them that He was indeed the rightful ruler of Israel!
Then, fifty-three days after His crucifixion the Nazarene’s many disciples were back in Jerusalem working miracles and publicly proclaiming that the Jewish leaders had executed their long-promised Messiah. What made it worse was that there were now many of these miracle-working prophets of Jesus. They were healing and teaching crowds inside Jerusalem’s Temple – right on the Jewish leadership’s turf. These uneducated, provincial laymen were also spouting off proof from the Old Testament to prove their theological points about Jesus, His crucifixion, and His supposed resurrection. Their influence among the people was growing daily, as was their numbers. Killing Jesus the Nazarene did not eliminate the threat to the nation’s leaders, it seemed to have made it worse.
If the Jewish leaders did not act soon, they would have no turf left to defend. It was time for them to push back.
Join us this Sunday morning as we continue in the theme To The Remotest Part of the Earth, and our Discussion Bible Study in the History of the Early Church. Please prepare by reading the entirety of Acts 4. This week’s title is “The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back – Part 2”.
Attached is an outline of the text we will be focusing upon this Sunday morning. Please print it ahead of time, as it will help you take part in the discussion.
Here is the Table Discussion Question for Sunday:
From the New Testament, it is evident that Jesus and the apostles doing “legitimate miracles” was key to the early believability and expansion of the Gospel message. However, the doing of such miracles seems to have ended during the apostles’ ministries. Why? Wouldn’t it have been and continue to be beneficial if the doing of miracles continued indefinitely?
In this series we have already discussed the following texts and topics:
The New Era Begins: Acts 1:12-2:21
Who is to Blame for Good Friday?: Acts 2:22-23
The New Community Begins: Acts 2:24-47
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back: Acts 3
We hope that you will join us online this Sunday morning!
We love you all!
Jim and Jenny