Have you ever been annoyed? Of course you have! It’s human nature. Sometimes such feelings are justified but usually they are not. In Acts 4 there is a group of people who were greatly annoyed. Why? Chapter 3 tells of the remarkable healing of a man who had been lame from birth. All the people knew him because his friends brought him to the gate of the temple every day. There he received alms from generous hearted people, he was someone everyone knew.
Peter and John go up to the temple at the hour of prayer (3pm) and remarkably heal this man: this creates a great stir and they have a tremendous opportunity to preach. The rest of the chapter summarises their message which has lost none of its power! Chapter 4 starts, “As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple came upon them”. They are “greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead and they arrested them and put them in custody” (verses 1,2). “It was already evening” (at least 6pm) so what a remarkable three hours that had been in the temple precincts.
Why were these ‘high powered’ men so annoyed? They were “astonished” the next day at the apostles’ “boldness” (verse 13). Not just those who arrested them but all the other high-powered figures who came together (elders, rulers and scribes and the whole high priestly family, verses 5-6) to seek a way to deal with Peter and John.
Their boldness is in contrast to their timidity previously at the time Jesus was arrested. The annoyance of the ‘authorities’ was because of the way they had captured the attention of people, worse still it took place in their domain – the Temple.
The ‘powerhouse’ of Christ’s message had now been launched on the world, and the world has never been the same since. It seems that each Century has had equivalents of these annoyed people who have tried to dim that powerhouse: equally as bad, others have corrupted its true force and preached a misleading message. But the Bible is now in every language for all to read and to feel stirred to the heart, as happened then. People are either stirred, think it is rather interesting, annoyed, or just indifferent. How does it affect you? How should it affect you?