And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.…
I. THE WHOLE CHURCH IS INTERESTED IN THE PROCEEDINGS OF ITS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS. Peter and John gave their report to the whole company. It was a report of —
1. Gracious success. A man had been healed, and therein the name of Jesus had been glorified.
2. Opposition, suffering, threatening. This is the kind of report which the Church will render until the end of its beneficent course. The two sides should be looked at together — the one will stimulate, the other will give new aspects of sin, and call for increasing devotion.
II. THE RIGHT METHOD OF TREATING OPPOSITION TO THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST.
1. See what the apostles might have done.
(1) They might have fled before difficulty. "If we are exposed to all this we shall give up our work: we are not equal to it; it will be a losing battle, our enemies are so many and so strong."(2) They might have formed themselves into a secret society for their own edification and comfort. Contemplation would have taken the place of service.
2. What they did do. "They lifted up their voice to God with one accord," and committed themselves to Him as unto a faithful Creator. A prayer offered under circumstances as peculiar will show the strength and purpose of the Church. It did show —
(1) The profound religiousness of the Church. Instantly the disciples flee to the Holy One. There is no paltering with second causes; no drivelling talk about difficulty. Opposition brought the Church face to face with God.
(2) The clear doctrinal intelligence of the Church. They fell back upon the great histories and prophecies upon which Christ's kingdom rests. Again and again it is seen how thoroughly the early Church knew the sacred writings. This is the strength of the spiritual life. "Let the Word of God dwell in you richly."(3) A supreme desire for the glory of Christ. The apostles were referred to as "servants." It was for "the Holy Child Jesus" that the suppliants were concerned.
(4) Preparedness for further service (ver. 29).
III. THE SPIRITUAL AND SOCIAL RESULTS WHICH FOLLOW THE RIGHT ACCEPTANCE OF SERVICE AND SUFFERING.
1. A vast accession of spiritual grace. The disciples "were all filled with the Holy Ghost."
2. A vast accession of spiritual power. They "spake the Word of God with boldness."
3. The consummation of spiritual union. They were" of one heart and one soul."
4. The ideal of social beneficence. They claimed nothing as their own, but had all things common. In such a case opposition became the occasion of infinite good. There was no wordy controversy, but a renewed dedication to Christ. All opposition should be met in the same way.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.