1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them,
2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.
4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
There were 2 main parties among the Jewish leaders mentioned in the Gospels. The Sadducees and the Pharisees.
The Pharisees believed that if everyone’s Israel followed the whole law for one day, the Messiah would return and all evil would be destroyed forever. That’s why they were so upset at sinners. If you woke up after “doing your part” and resisting sin all day yesterday only to see the world the same way, you’d spend the whole next day pointing your finger at the dirtbag sinner that blew it for all of us. Aaarrrrgh!
The Sadducees believed that there was no resurrection. Once you were dead, you were dead. Jesus used this to His advantage a few times. When the Jewish leaders were getting a little too mad at Him, He’d throw in something about resurrection so all of the leaders would start fighting among themselves.
So in this case, they aren’t arrested because they are teaching some new way of life, but for the politically charged, religious issue of resurrection.
And that would stink. I mean, any arrest is going to stink, right?
But as Peter and John walk off to jail, 5,000 people walk away believing and following Jesus. That’s more people than would fit in any church in the Tri-State.
So politics and religious squabbles have been a big deal for a long time, but they never stopped people from preaching the salvation of Jesus. Issues haven’t stopped 5,000 new believers from coming into the church.
We can pray that it continues and we can participate in its advancement.