Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,CHAPTER 4
1. Their Arrest (Acts 4:1-3).
2. The Result of the Testimony (Acts 4:4).
3. Peter and John before the Rulers and Elders (Acts 4:5-7).
4. Peter’s bold witness (Acts 4:8-12).
5. The astonished Sanhedrin and their Release (Acts 4:13-22).
6. With their own company (Acts 4:23-31).
7. The saved multitude (Acts 4:32-37).
The enemy begins now his acts, and the first indication is given that the offer God’s mercy was making to the nation would not be accepted. The Holy Spirit was acting mightily through the spoken Word, but these ecclesiastical leaders were hardening their hearts against the Word and the Spirit of God. The hate against that blessed Name broke out anew under the satanic power to which they had yielded. And the Sadducees came too. Though not much had been said on the resurrection, yet these rationalists, or as we would call them today, “higher critics,” were much distressed because they preached Jesus and the resurrection. The next step is the arrest and imprisonment of the two apostles. Rough hands seize them. Of the Apostles we read nothing else. They submitted. The power of the Holy Spirit now manifested itself in a new way with them. They could suffer, and perhaps with great joy; in perfect peace they allowed themselves to be taken away.
We have here also the first fulfillment of the many predictions given by our Lord that His own were to suffer persecution (Matthew 10:16-17; Mark 13:9; John 20:20). In Peter’S witness we see the effect of the filling with the Spirit. What holy boldness he exhibited! He quotes the same Scripture passage to the assembled Sanhedrin, which the Lord had mentioned in their presence (See Matthew 22:23-41).
They knew that the Lord meant them when He quoted that verse, that they were the builders, who were to reject Him. They had done so in fulfillment of that prophecy. Peter’s words are directed straight at them, “He is the stone which has been set at naught by you, the builders.”
The rejected stone had become the corner stone. The One whom they had delivered up and cast out had been given the prominent place of the corner stone upon whom, as the foundation stone, everything rests, and who unites the building.
Peter closes with the statement that salvation is only in Him whom they had set at naught. There is no other Name given to men by which man can be saved, and that is the Name of Him who had made this lame man whole. Salvation they all needed. They, too, rulers, elders, chief priests must be saved. But only in Him God had procured salvation free and complete for all who will have it by believing on Him. This salvation was offered to these rulers, the builders who had rejected the Lord.
They were then threatened by the astonished rulers and elders and set at liberty. We find them in their own company and after praise and prayer new manifestations of the Holy Spirit follow. In the closing verses we have another glimpse of the assembly in Jerusalem.