ACTS 4:15-17  Peter and John were accordingly sent outside the council-chamber while the council conferred. It was difficult to know what action to take. They had broken no law in curing the cripple; besides, their action in doing so had made them popular heroes, and it would be impolitic to punish them. On the other hand, it would be equally politic to set them at liberty to go on teaching and healing in the name of Jesus; they would then be confronted once more with the problem they imagined they had solved when they procured Jesus' execution, and that in a more intractable form than previously. The action which they decided upon was a confession of their weakness: they would dismiss them, but threaten them with more serious consequences if they did the like again.

It is particularly striking that neither on this nor on any subsequent occasion (so far as our information goes) did the Sanhedrin take any serious action to disprove the apostles' central affirmation- the resurrection of Jesus. Had it seemed possible to refute them on this point, how readily would the Sanhedrin have seized the opportunity! Had they succeeded, how quickly and completely the new movement would have collapsed! It is plain that the apostles meant a physical resurrection when they said that Jesus was risen; it is equally plain that the rulers understood them in this sense. The body of Jesus had vanished so completely that all the authority they had at their command could not produce it; the apostles' claim that Jesus was alive again received public confirmation by the miracle of healing performed in His name. It was, for the Sanhedrin, a disturbing situation.


from page 103, The Book of the Acts