Writing about Acts 4:1-22

Hi sisters and brothers,

Below are Acts 4:1-22 (italic font) and my writing about it (normal font).

Acts is the fifth book of the New Testament, after the four Gospels. Acts tells things that apostles of Jesus Christ did after Jesus was executed. Acts 4 means Chapter 4 of Acts.

***

Peter and John before the Sanhedrin

4 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.

The Sadducees were Jewish religious leaders, but they did not do their spirituality works. They only used the law to oppress the people.

Peter (Saint Peter) and John (John the Apostle) were two of the twelves apostles of Jesus Christ. Peter was also the “Apostle of the Apostles”.

In this case, the Sadducees went with the priests and the captain of the temple guard to seize Peter and John, because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

4 But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.

A lot of people believed in Peter and John’s teaching. Because they were choking on Jewish religious laws, they easily loved the spirit of Jesus – the equality and unconditional love.

These laws did not remove their sins, but only were used to judge if they had sins or not. This meant the laws made them die with their sins. And Jesus redeemed their sins, and made them live.

So a lot of people believed in Peter and John’s teaching, and believed in Jesus’s teaching.

5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

“The name” (in the name) is a very meaningful thing in the Bible culture.

There is an interesting point when we compare with the Buddhist culture. In Buddhism, we need non-attachment. Non-attachment to the names and terms, and non-attachment to all the images we see.

But in the culture of Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – “the name” is a very meaningful thing:

– In The Ten Commandments, God spoke: “You shall not misuse of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

– In John 14:13, Jesus said: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

– And when we pray, we say: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

“The name” is a very meaningful thing. So the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law asked Peter and John: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!

The Holy Spirit (or Spirit, Spirit of God) gives us wisdom and strength.

(In the Trinity: God the Father is justice. God the Son is love. God the Holy Spirit is wisdom and strength.)

The Holy Spirit has many different forms in the Bible: doves, wind, tongues of fire, etc…

Peter filled with the Holy Spirit – this meant Peter filled with wisdom and strength. And the Holy Spirit form here was tongue of fire (Acts 2:3).

Peter was a fisherman and was unschooled. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, Peter said to the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law with wisdom and strength.

9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’[a]

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

This means Jesus is God and is Messiah. Jesus was the one who was to come, so the Jews and all people didn’t need to expect someone else.

At that time, there was this thought about the Messiah (Salvation) that the Jews had waited for at least 800 years (from the Prophet Isaiah time): Messiah was the most powerful king in the world. Messiah would free the Jews from the Roman and other enslaving powers; and would turn the Jews into the world’s most powerful nation.

Yes, Jesus came and freed them. But Jesus did not free them from the Roman and other enslaving powers as they wished. Jesus freed them from mind slavery.

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

The end.

Thank you, sisters and brothers.

In Christ.

Thu Huong

 

The New Testament

* Matthew 4:1-11 – Chúa Giêsu chịu cám dỗ
* Matthew 5:1-12 – Những người được phúc
* Matthew 5:13-16 – Muối và Ánh sáng
* Matthew 7:7-12 – Xin, Tìm, Gõ cửa
* Matthew 8:18-22 – Cái giá của đi theo Chúa Giêsu
* Matthew 14:22-33 – Walking on the Water

* John 12:1-11 – Mary Magdalene xức dầu thơm cho Jesus
* John 13:1-17 – Tình yêu và tính lãnh đạo trong Giêsu
* John 13:1-17 – Khiêm tốn và tình yêu trong Giêsu
* John 14:1-4 – Jesus comforts His disciples

* Acts 2 – The speech of Peter
* Acts 4:1-22 – Peter and John before the Sanhedrin

The Old Testament

* Genesis 2:2-3 – Quyền năng của khoảng trống
* Genesis 2:15-25 – Adam and Eva

* Book of Jonah – Sách của tiên tri Jonah – Kỳ 1

4 cảm nghĩ về “Writing about Acts 4:1-22”

  1. Mình giải thích thêm một đoạn thần học trong bài này, quan trọng nhưng rất khó hiểu:

    “These laws did not remove their sins, but only were used to judge if they had sins or not. This meant the laws made them die with their sins. And Jesus redeemed their sins, and made them live.”

    • “The law” (luật) là ý nói toàn hệ thống luật của Do Thái cổ đại. “Luật” có nghĩa là luật đạo Do Thái, vì thời đó cả nước chỉ có một đạo, và luật nhà nước là luật đạo, không có luật nhà nước riêng ngoài luật đạo như ngày nay.

    (Ngày nay trong nhiều quốc gia Hồi giáo cũng có nhiều người muốn dùng luật đạo – Sharia law – cho cả xã hội, không cần luật của nhà nước. Và đây là vấn đề khá lớn trong Hồi giáo).

    “The laws” (số nhiều) là ý chỉ “các điều luật”.

    • The laws made them die with their sins. Saint Paul, nói “Luật làm người ta chết”. Vì sao? Vì trước khi có luật, con người sống như dã thú, hành động theo bản năng, không biết tội phúc là gì. Hoàn toàn ngây thơ (như Adam và Eva lúc đầu).

    Khi tâm thức con người cao hơn, người ta bắt đầu tạo luật (hay nói theo Thánh kinh là Thượng đế cho con người “luật” bắt đầu với 10 Điều Răn) – cấm giết người, cấm trộm cắp, cấm làm chứng dối… Các luật này đặt con người vào kỷ luật, và kết án ai phạm luật. Cho nên, Saint Paul nói “luật chỉ làm cho người ta chết”.

    “Trước kia tôi không biết tội là gì… Nhưng các điều răn đến, và tội lỗi trỗi lên sống và tôi chết. Tôi nhận thấy các điều răn đã được định để mang sự sống, thực sự là mang đến sự chết.” Romans 7:7-10.

    “And Jesus redeemed their sins, and made them live.”

    Chúa Giêsu đến, chịu chết để chuộc lỗi cho con người. Con người, dù bị luật kết án hay không, đều được tha tội trước mặt Thượng đế, nhờ Jesus đã dùng cái chết của chính mình để chuộc tội cho thiên hạ. Điều duy nhất người ta cần là tin vào Thượng đế và tin vào Jesus Christ, đấng được Thượng đế sai đến. (John 17:3). Jesus tặng mỗi chúng ta một món quà, đó là chuộc tội. Tin vào Thượng đế và Jesus là nhận món quà đó.

    Mến,

    Hoành

    Liked by 1 person

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