Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled…
They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Fulfillment of the promise, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me." Reward for obedience to the precept, depend on the Spirit. No mere human resources applied to; the men simply spiritual men, bearing witness to Divine facts.
I. A GREAT CHANGE MADE MANIFEST. Fishermen, Jews, once filled with fear, now bold, eloquent, full of the Holy Ghost, proclaiming a doctrine once hateful to them, uplifted to a lofty conception of the kingdom of God. The whole explanation in the fact they had been with Jesus, as disciples, as chosen out by him for their mission, as qualified for it by his gifts of the Spirit.
II. A GREAT EFFECT PRODUCED.
1. By the clear and decided expression of Christian faith. The world is much more impressed by beholding a wonderful contrast to itself, than by seeing Christians compromising principles for the sake of enlarging the Church.
2. By fearless condemnation of evil and proclamation of the kingdom of Christ. We should remember that all wickedness is weakness. We must speak like Peter and John. We must keep the Head of the corner in view.
3. By the wonderfulness of spiritual work and life. Unlearned and ignorant men can render an incalculable service to the cause of Christ by making others marvel, when they speak out boldly their humble testimony. But let all who hear it say, "They have been with Jesus."
III. A GREAT LESSON TAUGHT.
1. To the apostles themselves. The power of faith; the protecting presence of God; the safety of boldness; persecution making opportunity; the suffering servant honoring the Master.
2. To the council. To judge righteous judgments; to learn the method of grace; to see the errors of the past. But we should be warned; for such lessons were in vain, although enforced with such power.
3. To ourselves. The whole incident teaches the strength of the spiritual life; the method or the Christian work; the glory of the believer's prospects. Those that have been with Jesus shall share his victories. - R.
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.