Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled…
I. THE POSITION AND CHARACTER OF THESE MEN WHO WERE GRIEVED AT THE APOSTLES' TEACHING OF THE RESURRECTION. Most of them were Sadducees, rich, courtly, influential, holding the Pharisees in contempt as did the Pharisees the common people. A crisis was now impending. The impress of the Great Teacher was too great to be denied. Tone, look, manner, put the apostles' training above suspicion. All had admitted the originality of Jesus as a teacher, and had opposed Him on this account. Lo! this originality has reappeared. The old controversy had suddenly returned. Jerusalem was in a moral upheaval. In this God's hand strikingly appears. To confront the Sadducees was the initial work of Christianity. The question of "Jesus and the resurrection" must be settled at once. Other questions might be postponed till Sadduceeism received its deathblow. So the risen Christ confronted them everywhere and "sore troubled" them.
II. THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE SADDUCEES AS TO THE POWER OF CHRISTIANITY. "We cannot deny it." If the miracle is undeniable, then the source, in the risen Christ, is undeniable. Only one resource remains — silence the preachers! But can they be silenced? The leader of the hour was lately a weak man, who quailed before a servant-maid. Now he stands, with John unflinchingly before the most formidable tribunal of the country. How is it? The secret escapes their own lips. "The boldness" astonishes them, and they put it down to the fact that they had been with Jesus. Was this conscience? No. There was no sense of guilt here. It was fear. In the boldness of Peter and John they saw the answer to "His blood be upon us and our children."
III. NO ONE CAN HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS AS A DISCIPLE AND NOT SHOW IT THEREAFTER IN HIS SPIRIT AND ACTION. The human heart was made for Him, and when renewed receives His fulness. This is the secret of Christian influence.
(A. A. Lipscomb, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.