Acts 4:1-12; Psalm 117(118):1-2,4,22-27; John 21:1-14
The Sadducees entered into where Peter and the others were talking with the Jewish faithful, about life, deth and resurrection. Not only did the Sadducees (a clerical bunch of ever there was one) feel threatened by the presence of these strange people (a mixture of fishermen, itinerants, and others on the edges of society) being listened to by their congregation, but they were talking about resurrection – the Sadducees held that there was no kind of afterlife, angels or spiritual being at all.
Peter’s response to their interrogation the following day must have made them even more angry – and probably afraid, as Peter was very bold and very authoritative in his speaking, correctly quoting scripture and in now way cowed in the presence of the theological elite of the day.
This episode continues directly in Saturday’s readings, with Peter, John and the others who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, win the theological argument and are released – with threats – as the Sadducees had no answer to the message of salvation through Jesus’ resurrection. Furthermore, they had the evidence of the man cured and standing there, before them, someone they had know from his childhood to middle age as a cripple.
History recalls that Peter and John continued to speak the Good News – we would not be here now otherwise. The challenge for us then, is to speak the truth about Jesus even when we are before whatever ‘court’ we find ourselves in – a hostile freindship group, workplace or even when put on the spot by some stranger. At the very least we might encourage a rightful and holy questioning in the minds of those who do not seem to be listening, but may nevertheless be inspired by the Holy Spirit using our voices.