It was already evening jumps off the page.
As I recall, Peter and John were coming to the temple at the ninth hour – about 3 pm – for the midafternoon prayers. They meet the lame man at the gate, offer him Jesus, the guy gets healed, they walk to Solomon’s porch together and get surrounded by the crowd. How long did that take? – maybe an hour, tops?
Peter starts preaching – the recorded sermon is only 14 verses (Acts 3:12-26) – by the time the authorities show up “it was already evening.” In the Jewish time keeping the stars were out. So, I’m just saying, the modern church goer complains if the sermon intrudes on their noon lunch plans – Peter’s crowd has been standing for hours and he has been talking for hours – all captured in the power of the Holy Spirit at work. (Whatever God is doing is worthy of my complete and undivided attention. Time flies in His presence.)
So who shows up? The priests, the captain of the Temple guard and the Sadducees. You gotta think they didn’t just stumble upon this commotion because they were all out together for an evening stroll. These are some high, muckity-mucks. They had to be tipped off. Anyway, two things about the Sadducees: (1) they were not too popular with the people because they were aristocrats and politically catered to the Romans and (2) they did not believe in resurrection or any kind of afterlife.
With these two things paramount in their minds it’s no wonder they were greatly annoyed. Who did these fishermen think they were, coming into our Temple and stirring people up? I do take note the leaders completely overlooked the healing of the lame man – he is incidental when you are trying to keep your power intact. (Humm…Lord, help me be willing to risk my need to be in control and not overlook Your good work right before my eyes.)
It was late, you know, and well, the crowd would not be all that friendly towards them. This has a potential for getting out of hand. Guess overall they thought it was a good idea to just arrest Peter and John and deal with all this in the morning.
Sorry Charlie, you can’t arrest the Holy Spirit. The word was spoken, hearts were convicted, people believed. Let’s see – 3120 believers going in and now the total is 5000 men plus women and children.
He is uncontainable.
Being “greatly annoyed” can signal I’m entering a power struggle. Check to be sure I’m aligned with the Holy Spirit.
About the World?
The Word is out there.