Lesson: SUFFERING IN JESUS’ NAME — Acts Chapters 3 & 4
Although in our country we hardly ever suffer for our faith in Jesus, our faith sometimes causes conflicts and difficulties in personal relationships. David Jeremiah begins by asking how we typically respond when we encounter trials and difficulties in our lives. I had to admit that they eventually drive me to prayer and to become closer to the Lord. I often whine and complain before turning to the Lord in prayer.
These two chapters in Acts describe difficulties Peter and John encountered in their service for Christ and proclamation of the Gospel.
EXPLORING THE TEXT
In Acts 3:3-6, what was the lame beggar hoping to receive? What did he ultimately get from Peter and John? Describe his reactions found in verses 8-10. What was the reaction of those who observed his healing?
Because the priest and captain of the Temple guard had observed this miracle, Peter and John were taken into custody and questioned. Compare their reaction with that of the observing crowd in Acts 4:4.
What was the question asked of Peter in verse 7? Observe and consider the meaning of Peter’s response in verses 9-12. In verses 13-17, why did the Jewish leaders marvel at Peter and John’s boldness? What were the Jewish leaders most concerned about?
What did the believers ask for in verses 29-30 when they prayed? In verses 32-35, how did the believers treat one another? What was the ultimate result of their behavior?
REVIEWING THE STORY
Scripture says that the Jewish leaders were very alarmed after Peter and John healed the lame beggar. Contrast the reactions of the observant crowd. (Acts 3:10)
Acts 4:2 says that the religious leaders were disturbed, or alarmed. Contrast the reactions. Why would the healing bother religious leaders?
In Chapter 4 verse 7, what question was asked of Peter that gave him the opportunity to share Christ? Consider how he answers the question in verses 10-12.
What dilemma did the Jewish religious leaders encounter after the healing miracle had taken place, and by Peter’s statement as to where the healing power came from?
What happened after the believers prayed for boldness? (Acts 4:30-31)
APPLYING THE MESSAGE
“What might be some ways that God is calling you, and the people of your church, to act in boldness in your community?” — David Jeremiah
We serve our community now through our food pantry. Try to think of other ways we might serve our community.
The believers in Acts 3 and 4 didn’t pray for safety, for protection from their enemies, or for asylum. Rather, they asked God for greater boldness. (Acts 4:29-30)
— Thank you for joining in this study. Next week, we’ll be studying chapters 5 and 6.