Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read how the Jewish leaders were annoyed with Peter and John since they cured the crippled man. Peter says there is salvation in no one else but Jesus. The followers of Christ are bold in their witness. John and Peter are told not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus, and they were let go without punishment. When they were released, they pray with other followers of Jesus for increased boldness.
Paul says that in Baptism we have been crucified with Christ and we are now a completely new person. Sometimes we don’t fully turn away from our former way of life.
Let us pray for boldness.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 While they were still talking to the people the priests came up to them, accompanied by the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees.
2 They were extremely annoyed at their teaching the people the resurrection from the dead by proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus.
3 They arrested them, and, as it was already late, they kept them in prison till the next day.
4 But many of those who had listened to their message became believers; the total number of men had now risen to something like five thousand.
5 It happened that the next day the rulers, elders and scribes held a meeting in Jerusalem
6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, Jonathan, Alexander and all the members of the high-priestly families.
7 They made the prisoners stand in the middle and began to interrogate them, ‘By what power, and by whose name have you men done this?’
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, ‘Rulers of the people, and elders!
9 If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple and asking us how he was healed,
10 you must know, all of you, and the whole people of Israel, that it is by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, and God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man stands before you cured.
11 This is the stone which you, the builders, rejected but which has become the cornerstone. Only in him is there salvation;
12 for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’
13 They were astonished at the fearlessness shown by Peter and John, considering that they were uneducated laymen; and they recognised them as associates of Jesus;
14 but when they saw the man who had been cured standing by their side, they could find no answer.
15 So they ordered them to stand outside while the Sanhedrin had a private discussion.
16 ‘What are we going to do with these men?’ they asked. ‘It is obvious to everybody in Jerusalem that a notable miracle has been worked through them, and we cannot deny it.
17 But to stop the whole thing spreading any further among the people, let us threaten them against ever speaking to anyone in this name again.’
18 So they called them in and gave them a warning on no account to make statements or to teach in the name of Jesus.
19 But Peter and John retorted, ‘You must judge whether in God’s eyes it is right to listen to you and not to God.
20 We cannot stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.’
21 The court repeated the threats and then released them; they could not think of any way to punish them, since all the people were giving glory to God for what had happened.
22 The man who had been miraculously cured was over forty years old.
23 As soon as they were released they went to the community and told them everything the chief priests and elders had said to them.
24 When they heard it they lifted up their voice to God with one heart. ‘Master,’ they prayed, ‘it is you who made sky and earth and sea, and everything in them;
25 it is you who said through the Holy Spirit and speaking through our ancestor David, your servant: Why this uproar among the nations, this impotent muttering of the peoples?
26 Kings on earth take up position, princes plot together against the Lord and his Anointed.
27 ‘This is what has come true: in this very city Herod and Pontius Pilate plotted together with the gentile nations and the peoples of Israel, against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed,
28 to bring about the very thing that you in your strength and your wisdom had predetermined should happen.
29 And now, Lord, take note of their threats and help your servants to proclaim your message with all fearlessness,
30 by stretching out your hand to heal and to work miracles and marvels through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’
31 As they prayed, the house where they were assembled rocked. From this time they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God fearlessly.
32 The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, as everything they owned was held in common.
33 The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all accorded great respect.
34 None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from the saleof them,
35 to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any who might be in need.
36 There was a Levite of Cypriot origin called Joseph whom the apostles surnamed Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’).
37 He owned a piece of land and he sold it and brought the money and presented it to the apostles.
1 What should we say then? Should we remain in sin so that grace may be given the more fully?
2 Out of the question! We have died to sin; how could we go on living in it?
3 You cannot have forgotten that all of us, when we were baptised into Christ Jesus, were baptised into his death.
4 So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin living a new life.
5 If we have been joined to him by dying a death like his, so we shall be by a resurrection like his;
6 realising that our former self was crucified with him, so that the self which belonged to sin should be destroyed and we should be freed from the slavery of sin.
7 Someone who has died, of course, no longer has to answer for sin.
8 But we believe that, if we died with Christ, then we shall live with him too.
9 We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and will never die again. Death has no power over him any more.
10 For by dying, he is dead to sin once and for all, and now the life that he lives is life with God.
11 In the same way, you must see yourselves as being dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.
12 That is why you must not allow sin to reign over your mortal bodies and make you obey their desires;
13 or give any parts of your bodies over to sin to be used as instruments of evil. Instead, give yourselves to God, as people brought to life from the dead, and give every part of your bodies to God to be instruments of uprightness;
14 and then sin will no longer have any power over you — you are living not under law, but under grace.
15 What is the implication? That we are free to sin, now that we are not under law but under grace? Out of the question!
16 You know well that if you undertake to be somebody’s slave and obey him, you are the slave of him you obey: you can be the slave either of sin which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to saving justice.
17 Once you were slaves of sin, but thank God you have given whole-hearted obedience to the pattern of teaching to which you were introduced;
18 and so, being freed from serving sin, you took uprightness as your master.
19 I am putting it in human terms because you are still weak human beings: as once you surrendered yourselves as servants to immorality and to a lawlessness which results in more lawlessness, now you have to surrender yourselves to uprightness which is to result in sanctification.
20 When you were the servants of sin, you felt no obligation to uprightness,
21 and what did you gain from living like that? Experiences of which you are now ashamed, for that sort of behaviour ends in death.
22 But, now you are set free from sin and bound to the service of God, your gain will be sanctification and the end will be eternal life.
23 For the wage paid by sin is death; the gift freely given by God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 As people who are familiar with the Law, brothers, you cannot have forgotten that the law can control a person only during that person’s lifetime.
2 A married woman, for instance, is bound to her husband by law, as long as he lives, but when her husband dies all her legal obligationto him as husband is ended.
3 So if she were to have relations with another man while her husband was still alive, she would be termed an adulteress; but if her husband dies, her legal obligation comes to an end and if she then has relations with another man, that does not make her an adulteress.
4 In the same way you, my brothers, through the body of Christ have become dead to the Law and so you are able to belong to someone else, that is, to him who was raised from the dead to make us live fruitfully for God.
5 While we were still living by our natural inclinations, the sinful passions aroused by the Law were working in all parts of our bodies to make us live lives which were fruitful only for death.
6 But now we are released from the Law, having died to what was binding us, and so we are in a new service, that of the spirit, and not in the old service of a written code.
7 What should we say, then? That the Law itself is sin? Out of the question! All the same, if it had not been for the Law, I should not have known what sin was; for instance, I should not have known what it meant to covet if the Law had not said: You are not to covet.
8 But, once it found the opportunity through that commandment, sin produced in me all kinds of covetousness; as long as there is no Law, sin is dead.
9 Once, when there was no Law, I used to be alive; but when the commandment came, sin came to life
10 and I died. The commandment was meant to bring life but I found it brought death,
11 because sin, finding its opportunity by means of the commandment, beguiled me and, by means of it, killed me.
12 So then, the Law is holy, and what it commands is holy and upright and good.
13 Does that mean that something good resulted in my dying? Out of the question! But sin, in order to be identified as sin, caused my death through that good thing, and so it is by means of the commandment that sin shows its unbounded sinful power.
14 We are well aware that the Law is spiritual: but I am a creature of flesh and blood sold as a slave to sin.
15 I do not understand my own behaviour; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate.
16 While I am acting as I do not want to, I still acknowledge the Law as good,
17 so it is not myself acting, but the sin which lives in me.
18 And really, I know of nothing good living in me — in my natural self, that is — for though the will to do what is good is in me, the power to do it is not:
19 the good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want — that is what I do.
20 But every time I do what I do not want to, then it is not myself acting, but the sin that lives in me.
21 So I find this rule: that for me, where I want to do nothing but good, evil is close at my side.
22 In my inmost self I dearly love God’s law,
23 but I see that acting on my body there is a different law which battles against the law in my mind. So I am brought to be a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my body.
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death?
25 God — thanks be to him — through Jesus Christ our Lord. So it is that I myself with my mind obey the law of God, but in my disordered nature I obey the law of sin.
4 Cruel is wrath, overwhelming is anger; but jealousy, who can withstand that?
5 Better open reproof than feigned love.
6 Trustworthy are blows from a friend, deceitful are kisses from a foe.