Book of Acts week 7, we want to take a look at the topic of persecution through the lens of Acts 3, 4 and 5 and the apostle Peter’s arrest, persecution and defense. Afterward, we will look at other areas of Acts, most notably the persecution of Stephen and Paul.
Persecution as a topic forms a major theme in Luke-Acts. We see this clearly in the life of Jesus in Luke’s gospel. We also see this in the way that Luke joined Jesus and the apostles in Acts through the theme of suffering.
The following questions will guide our study:
Context of persecution in Acts 3, 4 and 5
Read Acts 3:1-26 and 4:1-4
Read Acts 4:4-14
Read Acts 5:40-41
Some questions to reflect on your life
Some modern applications of Acts 3-5
As this study shows persecution is an integral part in the book of Acts. In fact, this persecution was anticipated in the ministry of Jesus and forms an important link between Jesus and his apostles. It shows that what Jesus began to do and teach, now is being carried on by his servants (Acts 1:1-3).
Ultimately, this persecution is linked with the great conflict that the gospel generated among the Israelite population. Although there were many conversions among the Jewish people (even among priests and Pharisees), this group formed the largest opposition to Jesus and his followers.
For us, this issue must awaken us to the certainty that sufferings, afflictions and persecutions always come because of the gospel.
In Acts, the apostles show their courage and dependence on God in those moments where they answer their accusers. Furthermore, Acts shows us that God cares for His servants amidst persecution though he does not always relieve them of the charges or suffering that come through the hands of their oppressors.
Please Comment in the box below, and Share by clicking on the share buttons above or below this post.. God bless you.