They arrested them (Peter and John) and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000. The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. (Acts 4:3-6)
On Pentecost the Jews who had yelled, “Crucify Him,” and called instead for Barabbas to be released were consumed with guilt and asked, “What should we do?” Peter and John told them to repent. Jesus had died as their sin offering and resurrected to be their High Priest before God. When Jesus was with God, He received the Holy Spirit to send to earth in His place. The Holy Spirit came upon the early Christians at Pentecost. With the power of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name, Peter and John healed the lame man and taught that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. That same power took the sword from Peter’s hand, replacing his anger with gentleness. The Jewish leaders had Peter and John arrested, and they went to jail peacefully as Jesus had.
Annas had the most to lose. Jesus took his place as High Priest. Not only did Annas call in the council of all the rulers, the elders, the teachers, Caiaphas, and those in the Sanhedrin. He called in many priests who were his family because all the priests descended from Moses’ brother Aaron. Two days after Pentecost, these Jewish leaders and priests asked, “What should we do?” They had to do something to stop the early church before they lost all their congregants. They had lost 5,000 in two days.
Father God, I praise you that I can talk about God’s love and Jesus’ resurrection without persecution. Take my swords from me and make me more like Jesus. When someone is unkind to me, help me bless them. In His name, I pray, amen.