Acts 5:28

A nice tidy dining room at Sgt York’s house.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” Acts 5:28

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The apostles have been brought before the council. With them there, it is the high priest who questions them, “saying, ‘Did we not strictly command you…?’” The Greek bears a Hebraism which makes the question emphatic, “Not with a charge we charged you…?”

Some manuscripts leave out the word “Not.” In this, it would make it an emphatic statement rather than a question emphatically asked. Either way, the meaning is easily understood. A charge was emphatically laid upon the apostles to “not to teach in this name.”

Rather than “in” (en) the name, the Greek reads “upon” (epi) the name. The name is the basis of the teaching because the name identifies the One to whom it belongs. Therefore, the teaching of the apostles is upon that great and exalted name. But this is what they had been charged to stop doing, and it is now the reason they – once again – stood before the council.

And not only had they taught upon the name of Jesus, but they had been having immense success in doing so, as testified to by the mouth of the high priest, saying, “And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine.”

Here, the noun form of the word “teach” is now used. “And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching.” It is a testament to the resolve of the apostles. They not only taught and brought the word to the people, but they did so after having been strictly charged by the leaders of the nation to not do so. And so bold had they been that the city had become filled with the teaching.

It demonstrates that what is said about Jesus has power. If a religious leader had been crucified and the people had continued to follow him only because of his teaching, there would be a marked difference in the acceptance of the teaching by others. But if the leader was crucified and then resurrected, there wouldn’t need to be another reason why the people accepted the teaching. The resurrection itself provides a sufficient reason.

If there was no proof of the resurrection, the teaching of the apostles would be laughed at and ignored. But their own Scriptures, which the apostles argued from, testified to the fact that Jesus had to come, fulfill the law, and die in fulfillment of it –

“But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:18-21

This is the teaching that went forth from the apostles, and it was backed up by the very Scriptures that they had heard read throughout their lives. The high priest and the council knew this very well. But they sat upon Moses’ seat. Because they did, they knew they would lose their position and authority if Christ – who initiated a New Covenant in His blood – was fully revealed to the people.

Because of their rejection of Jesus, they rightly took it as a personal offense against them, as the high priest says, “and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” Here, the same word, epi, is used that they just used concerning the teaching of the apostles –

“Did we not strictly command you not to teach upon this name?”
“And look, you …  intend to bring this Man’s blood upon us!”

The blood can only come upon them if the Man was innocent. And if He had resurrected, then He was found innocent of any sin before God. If this is so, then He is the Lord God incarnate. Each point becomes a greater and greater indictment upon the actions of those who conspired against Jesus.

And, whether it was the “intent” of the apostles to do this, or whether it was simply a consequence of the preaching, the result does not change. Those in the council did bear the bloodguilt, and it was being highlighted through the message. But they had already admitted the guilt of the blood –

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They said, “Barabbas!”
22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”
23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”
But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”
24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.
25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Matthew 27:20-25

They called for the blood of Jesus to be upon them and upon their children. Telling the apostles to not teach upon His name did nothing to change that. But so vehement was the high priest against this, that he doesn’t even speak Jesus’ name. Instead, he simply says, “this Man.” Vincent’s Word Studies notes that this is “the first instance of that avoidance of the name of Christ which makes the Talmud, in the very same terms, refer to him most frequently as Peloni equals, ‘so and so.’”

In other words, the Talmud, the document that codifies Jewish law and custom, refuses to address Jesus by His name. Instead, they use various terms when referring to Him. This has carried on into Jewish life where many will not speak His name at all. Or, if they do, they will use a term of derision which is pronounced very similarly to His name instead.

Life application: To hear the simple gospel, and to believe it, is what brings salvation. There does not need to be a complicated lesson on the deity of Christ, nor does the doctrine of the Trinity need to be explained. God sent His Son into the world to save sinners. Jesus is that Son. He died for our sins, He was buried, and He resurrected. Belief in that is what saves.

Any person will hear, and – in their minds – they will know that a son bears the same characteristics as the father. Hence, there is an implicit understanding in the deity of Jesus, even if it is not thought through.

However, if a person is told – in advance – that Jesus is not God, there a problem arises. He is God. Therefore, that person is now being told about “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4) and he has accepted a “different gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4 & Galatians 1:6). But a different gospel is not another. It is a heresy. Paul states this explicitly in Galatians 1:6-9.

Therefore, that person will not be saved when presented a false Jesus and a false gospel. Be sure to keep the gospel simple, and be sure that when you teach, your doctrine is proper. We are all accountable for what we teach to others, so be properly instructed in what is right concerning this glorious Man who came from heaven and gave up His life for us. Yes, the Man is Jesus Christ our Lord.

Glorious and wonderful God! How good it is to know that You sent Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to take away our sins. Cleanse us with the blood of the spotless Lamb of God! Wash away our sins! And, O God, reconcile us to Yourself through Him! We thank You for Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.