Acts of the Apostles
Part 3: Practicals for Evangelization
Chapter 9 • How to Give a Gospel Presentation (Acts 4:1-22)
What prevents you from sharing the message of Jesus with others?
Right after St. Peter’s address at Pentecost, Sts. Peter and John go to the Jewish temple. There St. Peter heals a man who had been lame since birth. After this, the people in the temple are astonished and run to Sts. Peter and John to find out how this happened. While they are telling the people the Gospel, they are arrested by the Jewish authorities. Today we will examine how they present the gospel to the Jewish authorities.
1 While they were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them, 2 disturbed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They laid hands on them and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. 4 But many of those who heard the word came to believe and [the] number of men grew to [about] five thousand.
5 On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes were assembled in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly class. 7 They brought them into their presence and questioned them, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the holy Spirit, answered them, “Leaders of the people and elders: 9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, 10 then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. 11 He is ‘the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”
13 Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, they were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus. 14 Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could say nothing in reply. 15 So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, and conferred with one another, saying, 16 “What are we to do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign was done through them, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it may not be spread any further among the people, let us give them a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this name.”
18 So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. 20 It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After threatening them further, they released them, finding no way to punish them, on account of the people who were all praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing had been done was over forty years old.
- The Jewish authorities see the actions of Saints Peter and John in the temple and ask, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” How do we live in such a way that people ask how we are able to live the way we do?
- If you were put in the same situation as Saints Peter and John, what would you being thinking and feeling?
- In light of this, what makes the example of Saints Peter and John so impressive?
- When have you seen and heard God in your own life?
- What prevents us from telling others how we have experienced God in our own lives?
- Why it is important to tell others about Jesus in addition to demonstrating our conviction by how we live?
- Who do you think needs to hear the gospel?
*Adapted from FOCUS