Wondrous Events

As a result of these wondrous events, the believers were highly regarded by the people, many of whom had come to believe.

Yet there is a problem in the background; notice that the believers were regularly gathering at Solomon’s Colonnade in the temple courts, but no one else “dared join them” (5:13). Notice the apparent contradiction between this and verse 14: “Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.” One might well ask how it could be that on the one hand “no one dared join them” and on the other hand many “were added to their number”. I would suggest that the answer to this seeming paradox is that while many came to believe, thus being added to “their number” not many of those new believers were committed enough to join the other believers right out in the open, at least not yet.

We face a similar phenomenon today, for there are many more who believe than who will be seen to believe, for to believe in Jesus Christ and to follow Him carries with it certain complications in this world. For instance rejection or ridicule of family and friends, and in some places even economic or political sanctions of various types; persecution in other words. Certainly in the first century this was the case as we will shortly see…

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