Rev. Dr. Marie P. Braxton, Asst. Pastor, Metropolitan AME Church
Sunday, April 11, 2010 – Second Sunday After Easter
Scripture Lesson Acts 5:27-32: The Apostles Persecuted. 27Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28″We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” NIV Version
The Scripture lesson starts at verses Verse 27-32, but I want to call your attention to the passages prior to those, Acts 5, verses 12-26. Today is the second Sunday of Easter. Last week we celebrated the resurrection. Jesus did not rise from the dead of his own accord; he was raised by God the Father. Easter goes on for four weeks, then there is the ascension into heaven; then there is Pentecost.
In the scripture, Jesus’ physical presence has passed; his disciples are now “apostles”; they have taken on Jesus’ ministry. They went out among the people and they preached, taught, healed the sick, cared for the widows and the orphans; they added many more believers to the kingdom, all in the name of Jesus. But this angered the high priest and his associates, the Sadducees.
1. Jealousy is a terrible thing. The apostles performed many miracles, but they were hated and persecuted, beaten and slandered by the community leaders because of it. In verse 17, Luke, the purported author of the Acts, writes that the Sadducees were jealous of the apostles and all of the attention they were getting among the people. Jealousy is when someone has some attribute, opportunity, gift, etc. that you don’t have, and you hold it against them. Jealousy can lead to other things; it can destroy a church.
2. Faith in God will not make your troubles disappear. Faith in God will not make your troubles disappear, but faith makes your troubles less frightening. We are all victors in the midst of strife. On your journey, expect to lose some friends; expect to have some lonely days and nights; expect some tears, but remember: have more faith in following the will of the Lord than the reactions of others. After the apostles were arrested and thrown into jail, an Angel of the Lord came to the jail and let them out. The Angel told the apostles to go back to the temple, pray at sunrise, and teach the people, so they did. In verse 21, we find the apostles at sunrise preaching and teaching about Jesus. Astonished, the high priest and the Sanhedrin asked the apostles why they had violated the order not to preach in Jesus’ name. But the apostles said: “We must obey God rather than men.” They just couldn’t help but to do what the Lord told them to do!
3. I just can’t help myself! When the Lord speaks and you know it is the Lord, you are compelled to do what the Lord says. When the Lord says feed the hungry, clothe the naked: I just can’t help myself. When the Lord says care for the homeless, help the imprisoned: I just can’t help myself. I have to do it because I just can’t help myself. I have come to know the Lord for myself. I witnessed the good news because I just can’t help myself. The Lord is my God, my savior, my shepherd, my healer, my provider, my shelter, my strength, my confidence my protector, my song, my joy, my deliverer, my peace. I said I wasn’t going to tell nobody but I just can’t keep it to myself. I can’t help but to tell somebody what the Lord has done for me. “He picked me up, turned me around, set my feet on solid ground!”
- Sermon Notes: He'll Be Back
- Sermon Notes: Born in Debt
- Sermon Notes: When You Need to Hear a Good Word
- Sermon Notes: Living a Marked Life
- Sermon Notes: When Mountains Loom Larger Than Faith
Tags: Rev. Marie P. Braxton, Sermon Notes